April 2, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

Strongest passports in the world in 2024

There are 256 countries in the world, and all are beautiful in their own way. But when you choose a country for second citizenship, you evaluate them pragmatically — what advantages can you get after obtaining a second passport?

There are different criteria for evaluation, and most of them depend on your situation and needs. However, one common way to evaluate a passport’s power is by the number of countries its owner can visit visa-free.

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Checks the passport index

The best passports to hold in !year

Strongest passports in the world in 2024

Best passports to hold in 2024

In this article, we concentrate on the travel opportunities given by different passports. 

However, this criterion is not genuinely objective if you seek alternative citizenship. It is also vital to consider factors such as taxes, cost of living, and living standards.

According to the Immigrant Invest Passport Index, the list of world’s most powerful passports includes visa-free, visa-on-arrival, and eTA destinations and is as follows:

  1. United Arab Emirates — 175.

  2. Denmark — 173.

  3. Sweden — 173.

  4. Singapore — 172.

  5. Republic of Korea — 172.

  6. Germany — 172.

  7. Spain — 172.

  8. Finland — 172.

  9. Italy — 172.

  10. Luxembourg — 172.

  11. Netherlands — 172.

  12. France — 172.

  13. Ireland — 172.

  14. Portugal — 172.

  15. Belgium — 172.

  16. Switzerland — 172.

  17. Austria — 172.

  18. Japan — 171.

  19. Australia — 171.

  20. New Zealand — 171.

  21. Norway — 171.

  22. Czech Republic — 171.

  23. Greece — 171.

  24. Hungary — 171.

  25. Poland — 171.

  26. Slovak Republic — 171.

  27. United Kingdom — 170.

  28. Lithuania — 170.

  29. Croatia — 170.

  30. United States of America — 169.

  31. Malta — 169.

  32. Latvia — 169.

  33. Slovenia — 169.

  34. Estonia — 169.

  35. Malaysia — 169.

  36. Bulgaria — 169.

  37. Romania — 169.

  38. Iceland — 168.

  39. Cyprus — 168.

  40. Canada — 167.

  41. Liechtenstein — 167.

  42. Monaco — 166.

  43. Chile — 164.

  44. Brazil — 163.

  45. Argentina — 163.

The list looks attractive. And the UAE, as a country with the most powerful passport, looks like the best choice for a person who wants to gain absolute travel freedom.

But there are some nuances. You can get citizenship in the UAE by naturalisation after living in the country for 30 years. But you should probably lose your original nationality.

The UAE permitted dual citizenship by amending the Nationality Law in 2021. Under the amended law, foreign investors, professionals, individuals with special talents, and their families now have the opportunity to acquire citizenship under specific conditions. However, eligibility for dual citizenship is subject to nomination by government or royal court officials.

So, most countries on the list have complex requirements for obtaining citizenship. At the same time, some of the most powerful countries have specific programs for obtaining residency.

Portugal, Malta, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Spain have “Golden Visa” programs, which allow you to get a residence and citizenship in exchange for investments in countries’ economies.

Austria and Switzerland offer residency paths to financially independent people.

Strongest passport in the world !year

Realistic plan to get a powerful passport

Let’s observe the most popular options for getting a passport, which can give freedom of travel. As we already said, some countries have special programs offering a residence permit or permanent residence.

A foreigner can get citizenship after 5—10 years of holding a residence permit.

So, it seems the realistic plan is:

  1. Get a residence permit or permanent residence.

  2. Use the benefits of the status during the specified period.

  3. Apply for citizenship.

Of course, citizenship can be obtained by birth, marriage, or descent. However, these options require one to prove the origins and spend some time in the country. For example, to obtain a passport of France by marriage, a foreigner needs to live in France for 4 years.

A foreigner can also get citizenship by naturalisation. It means they need to legally live in the country for a long time, usually 5—10 years. The basis for legal living is a residence permit received by some specific programs or for educational, job or medical purposes.

Map of the world’s most powerful countries

Ways to a powerful passport by investment

mt-flag Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. This way, to get a second passport requires an investment of at least €690,000.

According to the legal conditions, an investor:

  • contributes €600,000 or €750,000 to the National Development and Social Fund;

  • makes a charitable donation of €10,000;

  • and rents real estate for 5 years for €16,000 annually or purchases housing for €700,000.

But firstly, they get a residence permit and maintain it for 1 or 3 years. At the end of this period, they must pass the Eligibility Test and then can apply for citizenship.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

gr-flag The Greece Golden Visa program grants residency permits to investors and their families who invest a minimum of €250,000 in real estate. But this applies to the least popular regions only.

Starting March 31st, 2024, to obtain a residence permit by purchasing property in Athens, an investor should buy property valued at €800,000. However, there will be a grace period until September 30th, 2024.

Investors can include spouses, children under 21, and dependent parents. The program has attracted interest due to Greece’s desirable climate, rich history, and affordable property prices. Additionally, holders of the Golden Visa can benefit from Greece’s healthcare and education systems.

Passport of Greece is obtained in 7 years of residing in the country. Investors are not obliged to live permanently in Greece; they usually spend 7 days a year qualifying for permanent residence in 5 years and citizenship in 2 more years.

hu-flag Hungary will issue Golden Visas once again, 6 years after the previous residency by investment program was cancelled. Now, the minimum investment amount is €250,000. The renewed Hungary Golden Visa will offer three options:

  • buying bonds;

  • purchasing property;

  • making a charitable donation.

Foreigners can only obtain Hungarian citizenship by naturalisation: residing in Hungary for 11 years and only leaving it for no more than 45 days a year.

pt-flag The Portugal Golden Visa program offers five investment options for those who want to get residency in Portugal and apply for a passport in 5 years:

  • support for arts and preserving cultural heritage — €250,000+;

  • purchase of units in investment funds — €500,000+;

  • financing scientific research — €500,000+;

  • investing in a local company and creating 5 jobs — €500,000+;

  • opening a company in Portugal and creating 10 new jobs.

Portugal has recently passed a bill allowing people to apply for a passport in 5 years after requesting a residence permit, including a Golden Visa. Previously, foreigners did so 5 years after receiving their residency cards.

Investors do not need to live in Portugal but visit the country for 7 days a year.

es-flag The Spain Golden Visa program offers the flexibility to include family members, such as a spouse, children, and parents. The total expenses on this type of residence vary depending on the number of applicants. The minimum investment amount is €500,000.

Holders of a Golden Visa are eligible to obtain a work permit in Spain. Similar to other EU residence permits by investment programs, it grants access to the European healthcare and education systems.

After holding the residence permit for 5 years, applicants become eligible to apply for permanent residency. Subsequently, citizenship can be pursued after an additional 5 years, but the first passport should be renounced since Spain does not allow dual citizenship.

it-flag The Italy Golden Visa was launched in 2017. Four investment pathways are available, with varying investment thresholds. The entry-level option involves investing at least €250,000 in an innovative startup. Alternatively, investors often favour contributing to philanthropic organisations, with investments starting at €1,000,000.

The Golden Visa grants a two-year residence permit initially, extendable in three-year periods. After 10 years of residency, investors and their families become eligible for Italian citizenship, unlocking visa-free travel to 172 countries.

cy-flag Permanent residence in Cyprus can be obtained by investment of at least €300,000 in real estate or securities. Permanent residents enjoy tax benefits, exempting them from taxes on global income, dividends, and capital gains.

After residing in the country for 7 years, permanent residents are eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship, granting visa-free travel to over 160 countries, including the European Union and the UK.

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Practical Guide

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Way to a powerful passport for financially independent people

pt-flag The Passive Income Visa, or D7, is one of the most affordable ways to live legally in Portugal. It requires a stable foreign income of €820+ per month.

As a resident, one will be able to travel across the Schengen Area visa-free and apply for citizenship in 5 years after requesting residency.

The residence permit card is issued for 2 years, after which it can be extended for 3 years. The main difference from the Golden Visa is that with the D7 one, a foreigner must spend 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total for 2 years in Portugal.

at-flag Austria requires expenses for relocation and life for at least €100,000+. This way doesn’t give a right to work in the country.

The obtaining period of a residence permit is 3+ months. You can include only a spouse and children under 18 in the application and commit to spending at least 183 days in Austria.

To participate, you need to buy or rent a house; its cost is not set, but the expenses are around €100,000+ for the rent option.

In five years of living in Austria, you can apply for permanent residence; in 6—10 years, you can apply for citizenship.

As with the other EU residence permits, this one gives you the opportunity to travel across the EU visa-free. But in this case, you are able to use the Austrian healthcare and educational system.

ch-flag Switzerland: a lump-sum tax of ₣450,000+. According to the law, a foreigner can get a residence permit in Switzerland by paying a lump-sum tax.

This residence permit allows one to move to Switzerland with a family, spouse and children under 18, but it does not allow one to work legally in the country. The lump-sum pax is paid yearly, and after 10 years of living in the country, a foreigner can apply for citizenship.

How to obtain a residence permit in Europe?

Practical Guide

How to obtain a residence permit in Europe?

More options to get travel freedom

If you plan to get a second passport from a European country, explore the offers of Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Greece, or Malta. But if you need to travel only in the EU, UK, and China, consider Caribbean citizenship by programs: it is faster, and you get citizenship in a few months — not in a few years.

Caribbean citizenship programs are effective travel documents. Most of them grant visa-free entry to 150+ countries. Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica citizens enjoy visa-free visits to China for 30 days.

Caribbean programs for obtaining a second passport


Required investments and timeframe

Visa-free destinations


From 6 months

153 countries


3—6 months

152 countries


4—6 months

148 countries


From 4 months

147 countries


3—6 months

145 countries


3—4 months

107 countries

Worst passports to hold in 2024

According to the Immigrant Invest Passport Index, the weakest passports in the world that grant fewer travel opportunities are:

  • Eritrea — 79 visa-free countries;

  • Myanmar — 78 visa-free countries;

  • Pakistan — 74 visa-free countries;

  • South Sudan — 73 visa-free countries;

  • Somalia — 69 visa-free countries;

  • Iraq — 67 visa-free countries;

  • Afghanistan — 66 visa-free countries;

  • Syria — 65 visa-free countries.

Unfortunately, the citizens of these countries not only have a lower level of travel freedom, but they also have limitations on participation in some programs for cosmopolitans. For example, citizens of Afghanistan can’t apply for St Kitts and Nevis and Malta citizenship, and residents of Syria can’t enrol in the Dominica program.

Instead of conclusion

  1. There are a lot of powerful passports, but not all countries willingly grant citizenship to foreigners.

  2. There is a plan if you have enough time: get a residence permit in Portugal, Hungary, or Malta and then wait 5—10 years to apply for citizenship.

  3. There is a plan if you have no time and no need to travel all over the world visa-free: check the programs of Caribbean citizenship.

  4. All named programs have different options for participation. For example, you can buy or rent an estate, found a company or buy shares or bonds and so on.

  5. Traditionally, the most popular is real estate purchasing: it’s profitable because you can rent it out. It’s returnable; some programs allow you to sell it after 5 or more years of ownership without losing status. It’s comfortable; you can live on your property if you want to move to the country.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

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