Citizens of some countries appear to be luckier than others simply because they were born into having an influential travel document. Others weep with jealousy and are on a continuous search for the ways that will help them obtain a more powerful passport. Having one helps you avoid the unnecessary struggle with visa processing, save money and effort. Read the post to find out which passports are the most useful to have and which have the most visa-free agreements.
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Global Ranking: Passport Index
The most important criteria when evaluating the passport’s power is the number of countries its holders can go to without applying for a visa. However, it’s not that easy to analyze all the data required for a reliable ranking. One is provided by the consulting company Henley&Partners from Switzerland. Published since 2006, the index takes into account the visa rules of more than 200 states.
The more mobile a holder can be, the more scores the passport gets. Apart from a no-visa condition, 1 point is given when a person can travel with one of these documents:
- A visitor’s permit
- A visa on arrival
- An eTA
The index analyzes IDs that belong to regular travelers (not diplomats or other persons of importance) who enter for a short stay of 3 days to several months for travel or business purposes.
Among the Most Powerful Countries
Japan has been the leader for several years. Its citizens can visit 192 countries. British and American passports are almost just as powerful and cover 185 countries each.
These 3 IDs are arguably the most sought for passports. If you are lucky enough to be a native to one of those countries, you have a lot of opportunities for traveling. Although there are a few things you can do that may help you get one of those passports.
Ways to Get Powerful Passports
Below are some of the criterias one must meet to get citizenship in different countries. Note that the final decision of whether to accept an applicant or not is solely on authorized officers.
You must first go there with a working or student visa, and then apply for permanent residency if you meet certain conditions:
- You’ve been living there for 5 years total
- You’re 20 years old and have legal capacity
- Your criminal record is clean
- You’ve got funds enough to support yourself
- You don’t have any other citizenship
Of course you can marry a Japanese citizen to obtain the desired passport. Learn more on the subject by checking the information on the Immigration Services site.
For the U.K.
To obtain British citizenship, you must:
- Live there for 5 years
- Have someone petition for you to become a citizen (in case you have a British spouse or a relative)
- Be a law-abiding citizen
In addition, you will have to go through the U.K. Oath of Allegiance ceremony and obtain a Certificate of Naturalization. The latter is granted after you have been residing here for 5 years or married to a British citizen for 3 years.
For the U.S.
These are the criteria to meet to get the advantage of the United States’ mobility:
- Be of legal age
- Be fluent in English in speaking, reading, and writing
- Pass a U.S. history test
- Remain in the country for 18 months if you’re married, 30 if single
One of the ways to get citizenship is to invest in the country’s economy (open up a business) or serve in the military. In addition, you get a Green Card if married to an American citizen for more than 3 years. Although it doesn’t make you a citizen, you can use all the benefits the Americans have, including almost unlimited traveling.
Explore the option to participate in a DV Program lottery that takes place every year in October. The initiative lets 55,000 individuals from all over the world win a right to live and work in the United States. Although you can’t enter this year as the deadline is already over, you could educate yourself on what documents you will need for a next year application.
A Photo for Any Passport
Whatever you choose, you will need to prepare lots of documents. Study the official sources to get detailed lists of what you’ll have to submit. One of the requirements is the same for any destination and that’s a qualifying photo. It must be in a digital or printed format. Thanks to online technologies, you don’t have to head to a photo center to get your photo taken.
You can process the photo faster and cheaper online.
Every country has its own standards for the required image. For example, these are the specifications for the U.S. picture. Always stick to the requirements. It’s best to opt for a certified photo service to have all your needs met 100%.
A Cheap and Reliable Service
Take a photo and upload it to an online passport photo editor. Here you have U.K. selected as your purpose country, but you can use the tool to process photos for any country, just adjust the settings and let the virtual editor work.
The result is available in a couple of minutes. Download 2 files: a photo and a printable template. The photo fully will meet the specifications of the country whose citizenship you want to apply for. The template is useful if you are doing everything in paper format.
Other powerful passports include Singapore, Germany, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, etc. If you are a citizen of these countries, you can go many places and you are definitely a lucky one. If you’re not, no one’s stopping you from trying to get such an ID. It may be hard but is 10 times more rewarding in the end.