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US passport deemed 'world's most powerful' for 2022

Jan. 05, 2022
4 min read
US passport deemed 'world's most powerful' for 2022
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Americans hold the "world's most powerful passport" this year, according to Global Citizen Solution's Global Passport Index, implying your U.S. passport may be more helpful than what previous rankings from other sources suggest.

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The Portugal-based consultancy firm, Global Citizens, ranked the United States as the "world's strongest passport" for 2022 based on investment, qualify of life and enhanced mobility indices, the latter of which is a key marker commonly used in ranking passports to determine how easy it is for a passport holder to access other countries.

Per the study, the U.S. placed fourth in investment opportunities, with a Gross National Income (GNI) of $66,080 and personal taxation of 37%. The investment opportunities ranking assesses a "country's attractiveness as an investment opportunity for passport holders," the study's data consultants explained.

The U.S. ranked 23rd in quality of life measures, including those related to safety, presence of travel hubs, freedom, environmental performance and happiness in persuading the country as a "permanent/primary place of residence for expats, retirees or anyone seeking desirable living conditions abroad."

The U.S. came in 10th place for providing visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries or territories, which is the third-highest ranking among non-European Union countries, behind Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

“The United States offers investors a developed and diversified economic market as well as access to the most advanced and lucrative consumer market in the world,” Patricia Casaburi, Managing Director of Global Citizen Solutions, said in a statement. “Given the popularity of investment programs in return for a green card, the U.S. has consistently laid out opportunities for economic success.”

Related: Japan and Singapore deemed world’s most powerful passports; US doesn’t make top 5

(Photo by Grace Cary via Getty Images)

Unlike the 2021 Henley Passport Index that didn't include the U.S. passport in its top five primarily based on the total number of destinations holders can access without having to apply for a visa, this new report included other factors (such as the ease of opening a business in the U.S.) in its scoring demonstrated by a "renewed interest in the benefits of acquiring a second passport," says Global Citizens.

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Global Citizens say their study is different because it more heavily factored in additional considerations, such as the logistical procedure of obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), on-arrival visas or Electronic Visas because they affect one's decision to live abroad, from retirees to expats to students.

“This is one of the key reasons why the U.S. placed fourth on the Investment Index...because the country offers many attractive visa solutions for expats looking to invest in America, such as the EB5 Visa program and the E2 Visa program,” said Casaburi. “The U.S. Business Visa also allows [non-U.S.] citizens to spend 90 days in the country for business ventures.”

The Global Passport Index evaluated a passport's attractiveness using the aforementioned three indices, weighing mobility at 50% and both investment and quality of life at 25% each. The U.S. scored 96.4 out of 100 overall.

Surprisingly, the ranking did not include Japan, Singapore or South Korea, all three Asian nations that are usually considered superior passports.

Related: Learn from my experience: How to avoid a 7-week passport renewal saga

"It is a matter of balance or well ranking in all three indices. The U.S. is not the highest-ranked passport in any of the three. Comparing it with the best-placed passport in terms of mobility, Singapore, which also tops the ranking in terms of investment, we find that while the U.S. is ranked 23rd in quality of life, Singapore is much lower, at 130th position," the data consultants said. "In Quality of Life, the U.S. fares better than Singapore in all dimensions selected. For instance, a lower cost of living, and the Freedom in the World Report, one of the sources we use, classify Singapore as only partly free."

"The ranking ultimately allows individuals to see a comprehensive overview of mobility, investment potential, and country attractiveness," said Casaburi.

According to the Global Passport Index, the top 10 passports are as follows:

  1. United States of America
  2. Germany
  3. Canada
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Denmark
  6. Sweden
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Finland
  9. Norway
  10. New Zealand
Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more