The Best Passports in the World and How You Can Get One
There is only one criterion for the world’s strongest passports. We don’t care about what it looks like or what the tax rates are in the issuing country. We only care about visa free travel options. The world’s strongest passports are those where you can easily access almost any country in the world without prior planning. Just for fun we’ll also look at how many years you’d have to spend in the issuing country to become a naturalised citizen and get one of the world’s strongest passports.
None of the increasingly authoritarian English-speaking world makes the top ten.
So, here’s the list:
Japan has the world’s strongest passport in 2022 with visa free access to 196 countries visa-free. If you’d like to become a Japanese citizen, you’ll have to spend 5 years as a legal resident of Japan. According to Japan’s naturalisation laws you must not be plotting to overthrow the Japanese government if you want to acquire the world’s strongest passport.
Singapore comes in second in the list of the world’s strongest passports with isa free travel to 192 countries. We have discussed getting residency in the Asian city state here. If you’d like to obtain Singaporean nationality you must have been a permanent resident for at least 2 years before you apply. That may not be as good as it sounds though. It’ll likely take 2-3 years to obtain permanent resident status in Singapore. There’s also a requirement for National Service in Singapore for males under 40. Dual citizenship is strictly prohibited in Singapore so be prepared to renounce any other citizenships you have.
South Korea makes it a hattrick for Asia in the world’s strongest passports. South Korea has visa free travel to 192 countries. If you can find a South Korean to marry you can acquire a South Korean passport in only 2 years. Otherwise, you’ll have to invest in the country and then wait 5 years. You must speak some Korean too.
Like other Asian countries, South Korea insists that you renounce other citizenships you hold after you become South Korean.
Germany has the 4th strongest passport in the world with visa free access to 190 countries. If you like the idea of becoming a German, you must live legally in Germany for at least 7 years and pass an integration test. You will need to speak German too. If you marry a German only have to spend 3 years in Germany, provided you were married for 2 of those.
The Spanish passport is equally as strong as the German passport, providing visa free access to 190 countries.
You can become a Spanish citizen in as little as 2 years if you’re from Latin America and have been living in Spain legally. Otherwise, you may have to wait as long as 10 years. You’ll also have to pass an exam in Spanish.
We cover an interesting loophole to get Spanish citizenship in only 1 year in Second Passport Blueprint.
Staying in Europe, Finland is number 6 in the world’s strongest passports with visa free access to 189 countries. You can become Finnish after living in Finland for 4 years but only if you can speak Finnish or Swedish. Without language skills you must wait for seven years before applying.
Italy also has access to 189 countries visa-free, so its passport is equal to Finland’s. You’ll have to live in Italy for 10 years to become Italian. There are other ways though. If you have an Italian ancestor you may already qualify. It’s even possible to get an Italian passport without Italian ancestors and never setting foot in Italy. Find out more in Second Passport Blueprint.
Tiny Luxembourg also offers visa free travel to 189 countries. You can get a Luxembourg passport after spending 5 years in the country. The final year of the 5 must be uninterrupted. You have to be able to speak Luxembourgish too.
Austria too has an excellent passport, permitting visa free travel to 188 countries. You must have at least 5 years of residing in Austria with a residence permit. In practice that may mean spending 10 years in Austria.
Austria also has a little-known citizenship by investment program. The amounts involved are not specified but thought to be several million euros.
The final country in the top 10 is Denmark, also having visa free access to 188 countries. Denmark’s passport is hard to obtain. It needs an act of parliament for new citizens to naturalized. You must have had legal permanent residence for 2 years. Permanent residence itself isn’t easy to obtain and may take a few years. There’s also a language requirement for non-Nordic citizens.
Although, at first glance the Asian passports appear best I prefer the European passports. That’s because the European passports have no restrictions on dual citizenship. Also if you’re not Asian you may have to answer awkward questions crossing some borders with an Asian passport. It’s personal preference though. Any of the top 10 of the world’s strongest passports make excellent travel documents.
What are the top 5 strongest passports?
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Spain have the most visa free travel options
What is the number 1 passport?
Japan is number one with 196 visa free travel countries
What is the 2nd strongest passport?
Singapore is number 2 with visa free travel to 192 countries
What is the most powerful passport in the world?
The Japanese passport is considered the most powerful in the world in 2022
Get in touch with us for help with getting multiple citizenships: