US passport deemed ‘world’s most powerful’ for 2022

Jan 5, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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.

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 photo by Jeff Mccollough/EyeEm via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.