This Country Has the Most Valuable Passport in 2021

After more than a year of pandemic-related border closures and restrictions, COVID-19 vaccines are providing hope for a post-pandemic surge in international travel and tourism. Still, even after the pandemic, some people will have greater freedom and access to world travel than others, depending on the passport they carry.

In a post-COVID-19 world, a number of factors can have an impact on one’s ability to globetrot freely, including international perceptions of the traveler’s nationality, restrictions on obtaining dual citizenship and the number of countries the traveler can enter without a visa.

Using an index of these and other measures compiled by Nomad Capitalist, a tax and immigration consultancy company, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most valuable passport in the world.

The places one can visit without a pre-issued visa is determined largely by diplomatic ties between the country that issued the passport and the rest of the world. A passport issued by the United States, for example, grants its holder visa-free access to 187 countries, the seventh most of any country. Still, partially because of international perceptions of American travelers, in addition to restrictions on dual citizenship, the United States does not rank on the list.

The countries on the list tend to be relatively wealthy places. In all but two nations on the finalist list for most valuable passport, annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is more than double the global average of $11,433, according to the most recent data available from the World Bank.

The country with the most valuable passport is Luxembourg. Here are the details:

> Visa-free travel permitted to: 190 countries
> Dual citizenship: Freely allowed
> Annual international departures: 2.5 million (4.1 per person)
> GDP per capita: $114,705
> Population: 619,896

Luxembourg is a small landlocked country in western Europe. Those with a Luxembourger passport can travel without a visa to 190 other countries, the second most among European countries, trailing only Germany. International travel is common for citizens of Luxembourg. Residents leave their home country for destinations abroad a total of 2.5 million times per year, or 4.1 times per resident.

As mentioned, many countries with unrestrictive passports are wealthy, and with a GDP per capita of $114,705, Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For context, GDP per capita in the United States stands at $65,298.

Our methodology: Based on an index calculated by Nomad Capitalist, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most valuable passport in the world. The index ranks the power of passports based on five measures: the number of countries accessible without a visa (50%), whether a county can tax foreign nationals (20%), ease with which passport holders can obtain dual citizenship (10%), perception of the issuing country by people of other nationalities (10%) and freedom within the issuing country (10%), as measured by mandatory military service, press freedom and government surveillance. A full methodological explanation is available from Nomad Capitalist’s “Nomad Passport Index 2021.”

The number of countries that passport holders from the nations on this finalist list can visit without a visa came from Henley & Partners, a citizenship planning firm.

We also considered GDP per capita in current U.S. dollars, annual international departures and population for the most recent available year from the World Bank.

Click here to see all the countries with the most valuable passports in 2021.

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