The most powerful passports in the world in 2020, ranked

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Singapore, which ranked as the second-best place to hold a passport from in 2020, tied for first place last year.

The Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking of the most powerful passports in the world based on how many destinations the holder can enter without a visa, was just released.

Japan secured the top spot this year, with access to 191 countries and territories, a position it previously shared with Singapore.

Asia dominated the list, with Singapore landing in the No. 2 spot and South Korea tying with Germany for No. 3.

A US passport provides access to 183 destinations in 2020, giving it an eighth-place ranking. Passports from 16 other countries provide better access than the US. The country is also slipping in rank – last year it placed sixth.

A passport from Japan opens more doors than a passport from anywhere else in the world, according to the newly released Henley Passport Index.

The index is an annual power ranking of passports determined by the number of destinations a passport holder can enter without a visa.

A Japanese passport promises uncomplicated travel to 191 other countries and territories. In 2019, the passport promised access to 189 places and tied with Singapore’s passport as the world’s most desirable travel document.

Singapore maintained access to 189 destinations and placed second this year, followed closely by South Korea and Germany with access to 187 countries and territories.

Passports from countries like Canada, the UK, and the US all slipped in the rankings from 2019 to 2020 – but they are still desirable, with access to more than 180 destinations. For comparison, passports from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria offer access to fewer than 30 places.

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How selling citizenship is now big business

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Buying and selling citizenship is now a global industry worth an estimated $25bn a year

You can be born into it, you can earn it, and you can lose it. Increasingly, you can also invest your way into it.

The “it” is citizenship of a particular country, and it is a more fluid concept than ever before. Go back 50 years, and it was uncommon for countries to allow dual citizenship, but it is now almost universal.

More than half of the world’s nations now have citizenship-through-investment programmes. According to one expert, Swiss lawyer Christian Kalin, it is now a global industry worth $25bn (£20bn) a year.

Mr Kalin, who has been dubbed “Mr Passport”, is the chairman of Henley & Partners, one of the world’s biggest players in this rapidly growing market. His global business helps wealthy individuals and their families acquire residency or citizenship in other countries.

He says that our traditional notions of citizenship are “outdated”. “This is one of the few things left in the world that is tied to blood lines, or where you are born,” he says. He argues that a rethink is very much due.

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‘Born in the USA’ – More chinese women traveling to U.S. to give birth

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When Chinese children are born in America, they automatically become U.S. citizens.

An increasing number of  well-off Chinese women are going to the United States to give birth to their children. Having an American passport can certainly be beneficial, it can also be more of a hassle than one might expect.

 

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