What is the best passport in the world to have?

According to this website and Henley Global, its the US and UK passports.



But that is only for visa free travel. If you take in factors like work restrictions and residency restrictions an EU passport IMHO is far better than the US one.

What other factors would you take in? Do you consider your passport the best?

Also I heard that the US taxes on citizenship. Yikes :frowning:

The best passport is Syrian.

This is due to the access to migration (and consequent handouts) in receiving nations. They sell for quite large sums of money.

Interesting point. I wonder if there are people seeking real naturalization as a Syrian citizen (e.g. as opposed to a counterfeit or stolen Syrian passport) in order to take advantage of migration benefits.

I remember reading an article a few years ago about a Mexican citizen who had an ancestral claim to Cuban citizenship who was trying to obtain a Cuban passport for the express purpose of qualifying for Cuban refugee status in the USA. The consensus seemed to be that this was technically legal but clearly an abuse of a system designed for true refugees, not economic migrants looking to leave a good life in Mexico for a (hopefully) better life in the USA.


The US or UK sounds right to me. We underestimate the value of our passports. Most of the world cannot travel with anywhere near the freedom and ease that we do.

I would need to do the math, but the UK might have a slight edge as US passport holders are charged extra visa fees in many countries (which is a reaction to the outrageous visa fees we charge). And of course, looking at the total package, the taxes that the US charges on citizens abroad is a drawback.

A diplomatic passport doesn’t automatically come with diplomatic immunity. Even the diplomatic lines at the airport are not always shorter.

I would think a Canadian passport would be pretty valuable. As good as a US passport, but without the diplomatic/political baggage that might get you into trouble in certain parts of the world.

Presumably you mean they’re valuable to dispossessed refugees and such, and not so much valuable to me as a citizen of a first-world country, yes? How much do they sell for on the passport black market?

Spanish is pretty good: EU member and we can travel to most of our old colonies and Brazil (among others) without a visa. We can also get job permits there pretty easily if needed, or work under the ingenieros Telefónica system, so called because it was first exploited in large amounts by that company. So long as your salary comes from back home (not from the country you are visiting - if it comes from there you’re not a visitor any more), you can go on “business visits” up to 89 days, leave for a month, reenter. Customs people are familiar with the method and don’t have any problem with it, it’s perfectly legal.

When I lived in the US travelling to Latin America I kept having this discussion with Corporate Travel*: “hello, this is Nava, I requested this ticket and still don’t have it, do you have an ETA for it?”
“We need the record of your Visa before we issue the ticket.”
“I already sent you the documents indicating I do not need a Visa.”
“Yes you do, US citizens do need a Visa for [location]”
“OK, do you have my file open? See right under my username, where it says ‘nationality, Spain’? I need a Visa for the US but not for this trip, please issue my ticket.”
During that same period, visits to Mexico required Work Permits but the first one took half an hour at the local consulate and renewals were even quicker.

  • I suspect CT jobs may carry an IQ test: if your IQ is above 85 you can’t work there.

I don’t know. With an EU passport you can live and work anywhere in the EU, while with a US passport you can live and work anywhere in the US. The two regions are roughly the same in terms of size, population, and economy. Seems like a wash.

IMNSHO, it would be one full of visas and stamps from a whole bunch of different countries that you have visited over the years.

This illustrates half the reason I enjoy reading Nava’s posts. It’s clever and funny and brought a smile to me.

The other half is intelligent and interesting insight on various subjects.

Until recently I had both US and UK passports. When I’d fly to the US I’d check in with the US one and use the short queue at passport control. When coming back to London I’d check in with the US one but then use the UK one when going through passport control.

Last summer I renounced US citizenship for the tax and investment reasons alluded to above. I’ll file a part-year 1040 for 2015 and be done with the dreaded IRS for good.


Yeah, but there are other places you can’t go with a US passport that you can with an EU passport.

According to the OP’s links, the overall numbers are about the same. The main omissions for US passport holders appear to be Brazil and Australia (visa on arrival required). Since the numbers are about the same I would imagine there are other places you can’t go visa-free on an EU passport. Anyway, he/she was talking about work/residency.

I wonder what the coverage of embassies around the world is like, and how important that even is. I know the UK has embassies in at least two countries the US doesn’t currently (North Korea and Iran), but I suppose that there will be reciprocal agreements eg Sweden covers US citizens in NK. I know UK embassies cover Commonwealth citizens if there isn’t a home country presence.

Yeah, I’m pretty close to needing to have extra pages sewn into mine but come to find out that they stopped doing that as of this month. I’ll have to get a new one in the next year or so.

I had a US official passport for awhile. It’s red instead of blue like the tourist passport. It was kind of a pain in the ass unless visiting a US embassy. Then it was like holding the golden ticket.

I agree a US passport is a pretty darned good thing to have.

As for US taxes while living abroad, that’s true, but you have to make a very high amount before you actually have to pay anything. I file every year but have never had to pay anything.

I became a United States citizen in 1998. Prior to that I traveled with a Peruvian passport. Without fail, if I was crossing borders my suitcases would be torn apart. Tampons and personal items thoroughly inspected, and a few times pulled aside to be asked yet more questions.

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