What are the best passports to own in 2023?
Many people in the UK and around the world are trying to get their hands on a second passport to gain more access to the world and greater freedom.
A second passport can offer travellers a second place to call home, as well as the opportunity to enjoy visa-free travel — especially helpful after the restrictions placed on the UK after Brexit.
Before Brexit, Brits were able to stay as long as they liked in a European country but now travellers are subject to the ’90 day rule’ — which prohibits a stay for any longer than 90 days within 180.
At present, Brits also do not have to apply in advance to visit the European Union but that is set to change from November this year with the arrival of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) scheme, which will require Brits to register and pay online when they want to visit a country within the EU.
It is being labelled as a ‘visa waiver’ and will cost around £8 and last three years once accepted.
There are also now restrictions on travelling documents. Before Brexit, you didn’t need a passport, with any type of ID — including driving licences — accepted. That has now changed and passports are the only form of ID accepted.
On top of this, your passport must be valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting.
What are the best passports to own in 2023?
The most (and least) powerful passports for 2023 have been revealed, indicating which passports allow the most access to the world, as well as the world’s GDP.
London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley and Partners has released this year’s Henley Passport Index, which ranks the world’s passports based on the number of destinations they grant their holders access to without the need for visas.
Here are some of the best second passports to hold:
In Japan, travellers can travel to a total of 193 different countries — the highest possible — without the need for a visa, which makes it a highly desirable second passport to own.
Singapore and South Korea
Both of these countries allow visa-free access to a total of 192 countries, the second highest. Those considered Singapore citizens also gain access to subsidies on education, healthcare, housing, and employment. Second passports are allowed in Singapore but dual citizenship is not, so you will need to renounce other citizenship that you may have if you choose to accept the Singapore one. Restricted dual citizenship is allowed in South Korea.
A person with German citizenship can travel without a visa to a total of 190 countries, and can live, work, or study in any EU or EEA countries, with very few restrictions. However, current waiting times for a German passport as a second is more than two years, according to travel law specialists Passportia.
Spain is also a country that provides visa-free travel to 190 other countries. And, as well as travel benefits, Spanish passports allow family benefits. Passport holders are able to bring families to live in Spain, despite the strict rulings on stay times in the country following the UK’s removal from the European Union.
Someone with a Finland passport can travel to 189 countries without restrictions. Finland also surpasses other EU countries with a full range of health and leave allowances in the country. They boast world-class healthcare, free higher education, sickness, and parental allowances, as well as much more should you find yourself out of work. You can become a full Finnish citizen after four years of living in the country.
In Italy, you only need to be born in Italy to qualify as a citizen. Plus, travellers are able to pass Italian citizenship on to children. Italy is still part of the European Union and having an Italian passport allows you to travel to 189 countries visa-free.
You can visit 189 countries without the need for a visa should you own a Luxembourg passport. This is a passport that may appeal to business workers, as passport holders pay no Luxembourg taxes unless they derive income there.
Austria is one of Europe’s wealthiest countries and those with an Austrian passport can travel to 188 countries without a visa.
Under the citizenship by investment provisions of the country, an applicant is required to “invest actively in the Austrian economy” and there is a current wait time of between 24 and 36 months.
Applicants must have a completely clean criminal record, provide a comprehensive CV, and also must provide a business background report as well as “impeccable references”.
What are the differences between dual citizenship and second citizenship?
Dual citizenship is where a person is recognised by the country as having rights and status in both countries. Dual citizenship can only be obtained by citizens of countries between which an agreement on dual citizenship has been signed.
Second citizenship assumes that each of the countries considers a person only as a citizen, as someone who can live there if they want, but does not recognise them as a member of the state and, therefore, they are not allowed certain rights, and cannot pay taxes, serve in the military, or receive a pension.
Second passports can be gained by having second citizenship if you have lived in the country for many years, via a process called naturalisation. Some states also grant passports for investments in their economies, which is a quicker way of gaining a passport.