A new answer to the old question
A simple question, but the answer is not apparent. You may find many passport rankings on the internet based on the number of visa-free countries. That means, the higher the number of visa-free countries, the better is the ranking.
However, different sources provide different rankings. According to the Henley Passport Index, the best passport is Japanese passport offering 191 visa-free countries. At the same time, Arton Passport Index states that the best passport comes from UAE with 179 visa-free access while the Japanese passport has 171 visa-free countries only.
Unfortunately, these types of rankings are not particularly useful. Why? Access to the UK or Germany has not the same value as access to Kosovo. The chance to live in an EU country is not the same as the chance to live in Kosovo.
So, which is the best second passport?
The passport which grants you the most benefits.
Of course, benefits are always individual. The personal value of a passport depends on your problems to be solved, on your plans and on your family and your business.
How can we recognise the main aspects of a second passport's value?
As I see, there are two main aspects:
PAST (problems to be solved) — FUTURE (open up new opportunities)
What are the problems (coming from the past) you can solve with second citizenship and passport?
1. Political and economic problems in your home country
If the country where your wealth, business and family are based undergoes any substantial crisis or disorder, you have a great problem. A second passport makes you able to relocate everything into a stable and safe country.
In an emergency situation, any second passport provides you with a safe relocation option.
2. Visa problems
The world has become a global village. Travelling seems to be easy — but not for everyone. Some passports enjoy increasing privileges of visa-free travels while others not. You may need to make an urgent business trip to Germany, but you need to get a German visa (Schengen-visa) at first. However, there is no German embassy in your country and (or) you have to wait weeks and spend a lot of money and time to get the visa.
However, not every destination has the same value; that is why a ranking according to the number of visa-free access is not useful. There are some preferred destinations like Europe, UK, Russia, USA, Canada, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
The table below lists the travel value of second passports:
2. Business and investment problems
Even if you're a US citizen, the majority of foreign banks don't want to deal with you, foreign brokers don't want to deal with you, and most foreign investors don't even want to risk getting in bed with you. If you want to do business or invest (or even buy a property) in Europe, European citizenship provides you with exceptional opportunities.
Some countries (even the majority of developed countries) do not allow foreign investment from certain nations. That means, you are not able to take advantage of generous interest or exchange rates or you are not allowed to invest in lucrative property markets, such as those in Europe.
Let's see how easy to do business in the countries offering second passport:
An economy's ease of doing business score is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest and 100 represents the best performance — source: World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).
3. Tax problems
I am pretty sure that you are not happy with your home taxation. A second passport can open up the door to significant tax reductions. Some countries offering second citizenship are called "tax haven". Vanuatu is the top tax haven.
Total tax rate measures the amount of taxes and mandatory contributions payable by businesses after accounting for allowable deductions and exemptions as a share of commercial profits. The higher the number the more tax should be paid. Source: World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).
A second passport is opening up new opportunities. Let's see the future side, the opportunities and benefits.
4. Citizen and lifestyle opportunities
You may desire better living conditions or other lifestyle benefits to improve your own and your family's life. You may also try to find a country offering a healthy environment, high living standards or high-quality education for the children. A superior health-care system may give you extra peace of mind and security for the future.
Second citizenship also opens up the opportunity to retire abroad, put the business life behind you, and relax in pastures new.
5. Healthy Environment
A healthy environment is central to increasing the quality of your life and years of a healthy life. Poor environmental quality has its most significant impact on people whose health status is already weak or at risk.
6. Generational and educational benefits
The benefits a second passport will last for generations. You can pass on the double citizenship to your future children and grandchildren.
I guess you put a tremendous amount of emphasis on the education and future of your children.
Some countries have far higher education quality than others. You may feel that your children must have the best education to be able to compete with countries that are at the forefront.
We tried to summarise and compare the core values of a second passport. Unfortunately, we could not find reliable and comparable data about the Caribbean countries and Vanuatu.
The below table summarises the main benefits of second passport:
|Cost of Living||37||58||67||34||38||35|
The row EU indicates European Union membership status.
Safety, Living Conditions Education and Health Care scores are based on the Legatum Prosperity Index. Source: https://www.prosperity.com
Environmental Health score is taken from Yale University study: https://epi.envirocenter.yale.edu/results-overview
Cost of Living Index is a per cent value compared to New York (=100%) Source: NUMBEO
7. Plan B
Having a second option is not just a luxury, but it is a necessity. A plan-B is not just for the few, but for the many. Having a second passport is incredible insurance - this is where Plan B comes in.
With a second citizenship, you'll always have the right to live and work in another country. Imagine, for example, having a European Union passport, entitling you to live, work and access to education or health-care anywhere in the EU.
So, which is the best second passport for you?
All-in-all Maltase passport is obviously the best. With Maltese citizenship, you live in any European Union country. Maltese passport provides you with the best travel value. Living in Malta may give you the highest quality of life.
However, a Maltese passport is expensive. If you do not have around one million euro to invest, you should select other citizenship by investment option. The above guide may help you to find the best option for you.
You may find the best second passport options here.