With continuous innovation in technology and in the travel industry, we’re able to stay connected with people from across the globe, regardless of where they may be located.
Your passport is the key to opening the gate to freedom. It‘s the way to get out there and experience new things.
Passports aren’t cheap; they can easily run into hundreds of dollars, and some countries require multiple renewals.
So, how does a strong passport can actually affect the ways you travel and work worldwide? And how can we evaluate whether a passport is really powerful?
A Look Into Global Mobility
We should be talking more about global mobility when we’re talking about the fluidity of moving between countries. In practical terms, global mobility is about whether it’s easy for you to leave your current location and go somewhere else.
There are several reasons why people move from one country to another, including family ties, education, employment opportunities, and personal interest. However, the main reason for migration is immigration.
A safe and well-planned migration process is more than just important for mobile processes.
And, when thinking about living abroad, the first document we need to have in our hands (or at least in the final steps of issuance) is the Passport.
A passport is an official government-issued certification that documents an individual’s citizenship and authorises him/her to travel internationally.
A passport allows you to travel to new destinations, which leads to new opportunities.
There are agreements, releases, and treaties that can help people move from one place to another without needing any kind of visa.
One important thing to consider when deciding whether to accept an offer for global mobility is whether your current visa allows you to go where you want to live or travel. For example, if you’re currently living in one place but would prefer to move to another location, then your current visa may not allow you to leave your current residence.
There are different ways to evaluate how strong a passport is.
To measure the power of a passport, we built an index to precisely show the ease of entry of individuals into different nations, using nationality as a proxy for citizenship.
By “powerful”, we mean that they evaluate passports that make it most likely for people to cross international borders without needing visas. However, these evaluations are not deep enough, because there are always agreements between nations and war and epidemics can change things.
The problem is that in today’s connected world, passports can be used for more purposes than just travel. That’s why new methods have been trying to figure out how useful they really are.
A new way of measuring global citizenship – The Global Passport index (GPI) developed by Global Citizens Solutions.
Due to the limitations of the Henley passport indexes, the immigration consultancy company Global Citizenship Solutions decided to develop a new approach: the global passport index.
This index uses three different criteria to evaluate each passport with a weighting system that prioritises them accordingly.
- The Enhanced Mobility Index ranks passports by taking into account various factors, including the country’s desirability, its ease of use, and whether or not there is a need for visas.
- The investment index which is worth 25 percent of the global passport index score, is based on three factors: global competitiveness (also known as market innovation), GNI per capita, and personal incomes.
- The Quality of Life Index measures six dimensions: sustainability, cost of living, personal freedom, happiness, environmental performance, and migrant acceptance.
By weighing these three different dimensions (i.e., by giving greater importance to some than others), the Global Passports Index attempts to provide a better understanding for how powerful passports really are.
Such indexes can be used by individuals, but they can also be used by countries to assess their policies and to determine whether they’re doing enough to encourage foreign investment.
We may expect that by 2030, people will travel less often than they currently do, but we may also expect them to look for second passports to enhance job mobility.
The Caribbean Countries Approach to Citizenship By Investment – Do They Rank Well in the Passport Index?
Citizenship by investment is a relatively new concept. It was first introduced in the Caribbean region some decades ago and has since spread around the world, including some options in Europe.
The idea behind this type of citizenship is that an investor can obtain residency and a citizenship status through a process of investing money into a country’s economy. This means that investors are granted permanent residence status after they have invested a certain amount.
And some Caribbean nations have been in the forefront of these types of programs for decades already. But how do they rank in the Global Passport Index?
Let’s look at the three of the most famous Caribbean passports (and their citizenship programs) and see how well they rank globally.
Dominica citizenship by investment
Dominica’s passport ranking is 78th in the world, due to the passport offering visa-free travel to over 130 destinations, including Europe’s Schengen Area.
- Enhanced mobility index: 72th
- Investment index: 127th
- Quality of living index: 64th
By far, the Caribbean island of Dominica offers the cheapest and fastest way to get a passport by investment. Starting from $100,000, you and your immediate family can obtain passports in four short months.
Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment
Antigua and Barbuda’s passport ranks 63rd in the world, due to the passport offering visa-free travel to more than 100 destinations, including Europe’s Schengen Area.
- Enhanced mobility index: 61st
- Investment index: 84th
- Quality of living index: 78th
If you want to become an Antiguan citizen, there are three investment opportunities available to you: You can pay a minimum of US$200,000 into the national development fund, buy real estate, or invest in a company.
As with other Caribbean passports-by-investments programs, both processing and Due Diligences fees apply to any kind of investments. What makes Antigua and Barbuda an attractive option is that it is ranked as the safest country within the Caribbean for relocating.
Also, it‘s made up of hundreds of Islands, with crystal clear blue water, stunning scenery, and relaxing pace of life. As an ideal location for sailing and scuba diving, Antigua and Barbuda continues to remain a popular citizenship by investment program.
Saint Lucia citizenship by investment
Saint Lucia’s passport ranks 75th in the world, due to the passport offering visa-free travel to more than 100 destinations, including Europe’s Schengen Area.
- Enhanced mobility index: 69th
- Investment index: 113th
- Quality of living index: 83rd
With its tropical climate, safe environment, and a wide range of natural beauty, Saint Lucia offers everything from a competitive citizenship by investment program. The application process is simple and fast, with the overall process for becoming a citizen lasting four months.
To qualify for residency in Saint Lucia, applicants must meet certain criteria including having a clean criminal history, passing a background check, and making a donation to one of the three investment options listed above.
As locations that can get you dual citizenship, these countries are very competitive, and even though they are really small country nations, they can rank above bigger countries that have larger economies and populations.
This passport index shows that when well used, this type of citizenship by investment programs can rank a specific country as very attractive for foreign investors and citizens alike.
Something to consider in more regions apart from the Caribbean and Europe?