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Photo credit: www.visitsweden.com

NOMAD PASSPORT INDEX

Nomad Capitalist has ranked the best passports in the world by scoring 199 different passports in five categories. Each passport was scored on visa-free travel, international taxation laws, global perception, dual citizenship and personal freedom. The Nomad Passport Index was designed to educate aspiring global citizens about the true value of the world’s citizenships.

According to the research, Swedish, Luxembourgish and Irish passports are the best ones to own. Slovenia also achieved a very high ranking, coming in 30th place.

Sweden which ranked 2nd on the index last year has climbed its way to the very top thanks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, high levels of personal freedom and an excellent global reputation.

Luxembourg is tied for first and maintains its place at the top of this list for the third year in a row, having climbed its way up from tenth place just three years ago. Luxembourg grants its citizens high levels of freedom, has an excellent global perception and fortunately for ex-pats living there, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen.

The Irish passport also came out on top thanks to having one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates, high visa scores and an excellent global reputation.


Brits and Americans may be surprised to learn that they don’t own the best passport in the world.

THE 10 BEST PASSPORTS FOR 2020

1(T). SWEDEN
Nomad Passport Score: 114

Sweden previously ranked #2 on this Index but has climbed its way to the very top thanks to visa-free travel to 186 countries, high level of personal freedom, and an excellent global reputation.

1(T). LUXEMBOURG
Nomad Passport Score: 114

Luxembourg is tied for first and maintains its place at the top of this list for the third year in a row, having climbed its way up from #10 just three years ago. Luxembourg’s small size not only grants its citizens high levels of freedom, but excellent passport perception as a country that bothers no one. And fortunately for ex-pats living there, it recently became easier to naturalize as a citizen.

1(T). IRELAND
Nomad Passport Score: 114

Ireland offers one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates, yet its passport’s visa scores are among the highest. Due to its opt-out from Europe’s Schengen Area, Irish passports have slightly lower visa-free scores than mainland EU countries, however the country’s excellent reputation makes traveling as an Irish citizen generally hassle-free.

4(T). SWITZERLAND
Nomad Passport Score: 113.5

Swiss citizens enjoy high levels of liberties and privacy. In fact, Switzerland is one of only two non-EU countries to make the top ten. While a Swiss passport enjoys travel to two or three fewer countries than some of its neighbors, they are perhaps the most respected travelers around the world.

4(T). BELGIUM
Nomad Passport Score: 113.5

Located at the crossroads of Europe, Belgium has one of the world’s most respected passports. In addition to being the home of the European Union, Belgium is home to high levels of personal freedom and transparency. Taxes in Belgium are high and loopholes have been tightened, but the tax system is still simple enough for expats.

6(T). FINLAND
Nomad Passport Score: 113

Northern Europe is home to some of the world’s best passports, and Finland is no exception. Despite previously being rated #1 just a few years ago, a Finnish passport still offers visa-free travel to 188 countries, but more stringent tax policies for ex-pats reduced the country’s score.

6(T). PORTUGAL
Nomad Passport Score: 113

Portugal is an open country that enjoys one of Europe’s best passports. Portuguese citizens are also highly welcome around the world, enjoying visa-free travel to countries like South Africa that other European Union citizens don’t. Portugal is welcoming of expats, with a popular Golden Visa program and tax exemption program.

8(T). SINGAPORE
Nomad Passport Score: 112

Singapore has quickly become one of the worlds most important trade centers and has become a highly sought after place to live. With access to 190 countries, Singapore’s highly regarded passport is second only to Japan in this category.

8(T). CZECH REPUBLIC
Nomad Passport Score: 112

Leaping four spots from last years index, the Czech Republic finds itself in the top ten for the first time ever. Since joining the EU in 2004, the Czech passport has only become stronger. It is now tied for 8th in travel freedom with access to 184 countries.

8(T). MALTA
Nomad Passport Score: 112

Appearing on the Nomad Passport Index’s top ten for the first time ever, Malta offers its citizens an excellent reputation worldwide and has some favorable tax policies. Maltese passports also unlock visa-free travel to 184 countries.

So where did the British passport rank?

The British passport ranks highly at number 11 as its citizens can visit 185 countries visa-free, are almost always allowed to hold another citizenship, have relatively high levels of personal freedom and are thought-about quite highly abroad.

Unfortunately for Brits, it is more difficult to become legally tax non-resident when moving abroad.

And what about the US passport?

By comparison, the US passport which ranks at number 40, also allows visitors to visit 185 countries visa-free, but citizens are taxed on their worldwide income no matter where they live and are not perceived as highly as their British counterparts.

Japan, which ranked 21st on the list, is the best passport for traveling with access to 191 countries visa-free.

According to the research, the worst passport to own is the Afghan passport.

This passport only allows entry into 26 countries visa-free, its citizens are often refused entry to a substantial number of countries and also encounter substantial hostility, its citizens are strictly forbidden to hold other citizenships and they also experience less freedom.

Iraq is second-worst, with travel permitted to 28 countries, low perception from other countries and low levels of freedom and Yemen is third from the bottom.

Discover the best and worst passports by downloading the full report here