First and foremost, Japanese passports are the most powerful passports in the world.
Henley & Partners, which has a recorded accumulation of a list of the world’s most potent passports four times a year – and the ones that allow holders to travel widely and visa-free come out on top according to the migration and citizenship consultancy.
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Chronology of the countries holding powerful passports
Around 193 potential visa-free destinations aggregated, Japanese passports are ranked the highest. Just one point behind is Singapore, with Germany and South Korea drawn at third place.
On the other had the countries with the lowest visa-free travel capability are Yemen, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq. And at the lowest in the list follows, Afghanistan which allows visa-free travel to 26 countries, compared with Japan’s 193.
Analysis of the Henley Passport Index
The Henley Passport Index is based on a comparison of passports of 199 different countries’ access rights to 227 travel destinations with or without an additional visa. When a person visits the nation where no visa is required, where a visa, visitor’s permit, or electronic travel authority (ETA) can be obtained on arrival, a nation’s passport earns one point.
The other countries who made it to top 10 are Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark and Austria.
Covid 19 pandemic which acted as a stumbling block for travelling industry
Covid 19 has impacted the travel industry to a great extent. The new variants of more evolved virus has led the government to suspend travel stories to help stop the virus.
The number of economic migrants in the post-pandemic period, as changing office patterns free people to work from different locations have also seen a rise.
Who are visa nomads?
According to Henley and Partners “visa nomads” are typically professionals whose employers are adopting more flexible approaches to employment.
Several countries are hoping to tap into this potential talent pool by creating easy-access visa arrangements and visa waiver programmes.
In the report accompanying the passport index, Greg Lindsay, director of Applied Research at NewCities, a nonprofit that works in the field of sustainable urban development, writes: “2021 will be the year savvy governments begin to harness post-pandemic migration opportunities as the driving force for economic recovery and development.”
Countries using tactics to attract new citizens
Finland has created the Helsinki Business Hub which is a ‘90 Day Finn’ program. It is to attract investors and tech nomads.
The programme quickens the process of being able to settle in the country and also offers additional benefits including access to housing and childcare and other necessities.
Startup by Portugal named “Madeira”, which is backed by the government, has launched an initiative called Nomad Village, aimed at a similar demographic.
Taiwan also has a similar scheme in operation which is its “Gold Card” is a combined work and residence permit that allows recipients to leave and re-enter the island.
Favoured countries to acquire citizenship and its cost
Many countries have become popular destinations for people looking to acquire new citizenship status via inward investment. According to Henley & Partners, more than 100 countries operate such schemes, “including 60% of EU member states.”
The cost of citizenship programmes varies considerably around the globe. For example, Austria requires a minimum investment of approximately $3.6 million. A number of options are available starting at $100,000 according to your liking of the countries’ you want to acquire citizenship of.