STC PASSPORT INDEX
STC PASSPORT INDEX
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 2 > 3 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 WHY DO YOU NEED A GOOD PASSPORT? GROWING YOUR WEALTH As your business grows outside the frontier of your country and enters the global marketplace, the need to travel becomes a necessity. You need to open offices in Hong Kong, London or New York, meet clients in Paris in the morning and in Rome at night. Distances need to be shortened, time and effort reduced. When your Toronto office is about to lose an important client, you might have to jump on a plane at the last minute to intervene.
The ability to be in one part of the globe one day and in another the next is key to conducting business.
PROVIDING PERSONAL SECURITY Safety and security are not a God-given right; this is provided primarily by political stability. When a country becomes increasingly unstable and the central government loses grip on lawlessness, the first targets are the wealthy. Businesspeople are seen as beneficiaries of the current regime are targets of hatred and threats. These threats can be extended to their families, including children. A second nationality usually means you’re on the first plane out of the country, as certain embassies go the extra mile to get their nationals out safely and will dedicate significant resources if it means saving the life of a citizen.
For many wealthy families in emerging countries, a second citizenship can be a lifesaver.
BANKING AND ASSET PROTECTION Fast-developing countries grow their economies at a rapid rate, but also expose themselves to large fluctuations and risk. Currency depreciation and inflation can be the enemy of assets. Second citizenship can make it easier to open bank accounts in stable and trustworthy places and enable businesspeople to mitigate the risk of holding all their assets in an unstable economy. The 2018 STC Passport Index ranks every country in the world based on the quality of their passport. Over 200 countries & territories are reviewed and updated on an annual basis. The ranking also offers valuable information regarding the number of visa-free destinations, dual citizenship and more.
The STC Passport index was launched in 2016 and remains the only one that indexes visa-free destinations according to their popularity and authorized length of stay.
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 4 > 5 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 The 2018 STC Passport Index has been simplified this year. We spent our time finding the most accurate and simple way for a Global Citizen to evaluate the value of a passport. Simply giving the number of visa-free countries one can travel can be deceiving. Only a few countries are truly valuable to those who are considering a second passport. For example, Barbados has a Visa-Free Count of 136, and Bermuda also has a Visa-Free Count of 136. An inaccurate passport Index would rank Barbados passport as equal to that of the Bahamas. In reality, however, the Bahamian passport is more valuable than its Barbadian counterpart because it allows visa-free travel to the United States.
This is one reason why the visa-free score is deceiving, as countries can assign visa waivers to tiny jurisdictions to increase their score and give the illusion that their passport will enable you to travel to the places you desire.
Our analysis of the travel world left us with the conclusion that two regions are key to those looking to buy a passport: Europe and the USA. Other important destinations like the UK, China or Russia don’t carry as much weight. Passports with the label US & EU are the most valuable and represent the “Gold Standard” for passports. Generally speaking, visa-free travel to the US comes with an additional 130 other countries. In practical terms, most passports with visa-free travel to the US also offer visa-free travel to Europe. THE 2018 STC PASSPORT RANKING Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 1 Gold (US & EU) United Kingdom 825 157 2 Gold (US & EU) Finland 823 158 3 Gold (US & EU) Sweden 823 158 4 Gold (US & EU) Germany 821 159 5 Gold (US & EU) Hungary 820 153 6 Gold (US & EU) Slovakia 819 152 7 Gold (US & EU) Estonia 819 151 8 Gold (US & EU) Portugal 819 157 9 Gold (US & EU) Slovenia 819 152 10 Gold (US & EU) Switzerland 819 156 11 Gold (US & EU) Austria 819 157 12 Gold (US & EU) Lithuania 819 152 13 Gold (US & EU) Denmark 818 158 14 Gold (US & EU) Italy 818 158 15 Gold (US & EU) France 817 157 16 Gold (US & EU) Spain 817 158 17 Gold (US & EU) Norway 816 156 INTRODUCING THE 2018 RANKING Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 18 Gold (US & EU) Liechtenstein 816 148 19 Gold (US & EU) Belgium 816 157 20 Gold (US & EU) Luxembourg 816 157 21 Gold (US & EU) Netherlands 815 157 22 Gold (US & EU) Greece 815 155 23 Gold (US & EU) Czech Republic 815 155 24 Gold (US & EU) Ireland 814 155 25 Gold (US & EU) Malta 814 153 26 Gold (US & EU) Iceland 813 152 27 Gold (US & EU) Latvia 808 151 28 Silver (EU) Bulgaria 806 149 29 Gold (US & EU) Poland 801 152 30 Silver (EU) Romania 800 149 31 Gold (US & EU) Croatia 799 147 32 Silver (EU) Cyprus 795 151 33 Silver (EU) Hong Kong 668 141 34 Gold (US & EU) United States 667 157
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 6 > 7 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 35 Gold (US & EU) Canada 656 156 36 Gold (US & EU) South Korea 655 159 37 Gold (US & EU) Japan 650 159 38 Silver (EU) Macao 648 121 39 Gold (US & EU) Chile 638 145 40 Gold (US & EU) San Marino 633 140 41 Gold (US & EU) Taiwan 632 120 42 Gold (US & EU) New Zealand 629 153 43 Gold (US & EU) Australia 628 154 44 Gold (US & EU) Singapore 627 158 45 Silver (EU) Brazil 623 148 46 Gold (US & EU) Bermuda 622 135 47 Gold (US & EU) Andorra 621 140 48 Gold (US & EU) Monaco 620 146 49 Silver (EU) Mexico 615 136 50 Silver (EU) Argentina 614 144 51 Gold (US & EU) Bahamas 614 136 52 Gold (US & EU) Israel 612 135 53 Silver (EU) Malaysia 612 155 54 Gold (US & EU) Marshall Islands 608 105 55 Gold (US & EU) Turks and Caicos Islands 607 135 56 Silver (EU) Gibraltar 606 133 57 Gold (US & EU) British Virgin Islands 606 133 58 Gold (US & EU) Cayman Islands 606 133 59 Gold (US & EU) Palau 605 99 60 Gold (US & EU) Micronesia 605 102 61 Silver (EU) Uruguay 599 129 62 Gold (US & EU) Brunei 597 137 63 Silver (EU) Barbados 596 136 64 Silver (EU) Paraguay 594 119 65 Silver (EU) Panama 594 118 66 Silver (EU) United Arab Emirates 590 130 67 Silver (EU) Montserrat 589 133 68 Silver (EU) Anguilla 589 131 69 Silver (EU) Peru 582 124 70 Silver (EU) Saint Kitts and Nevis 577 127 71 Silver (EU) Grenada 577 120 72 Silver (EU) Venezuela 574 121 Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 73 Silver (EU) Trinidad and Tobago 574 124 74 Silver (EU) Costa Rica 571 123 75 Gold (US & EU) Vatican City 571 129 76 Silver (EU) El Salvador 570 115 77 Silver (EU) Honduras 569 115 78 Silver (EU) Ukraine 567 124 79 Silver (EU) Guatemala 567 114 80 Silver (EU) Seychelles 566 130 81 Silver (EU) Antigua and Barbuda 563 125 82 Silver (EU) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 562 125 83 Silver (EU) Serbia 561 114 84 Silver (EU) Colombia 557 105 85 Silver (EU) Dominica 556 115 86 Silver (EU) Saint Lucia 556 121 87 Silver (EU) Bosnia and Herzegovina 556 102 88 Silver (EU) Moldova 556 108 89 Silver (EU) Nicaragua 555 106 90 Silver (EU) Montenegro 549 108 91 Silver (EU) Mauritius 547 108 92 Silver (EU) Samoa 544 113 93 Silver (EU) Albania 544 97 94 Silver (EU) Macedonia 543 111 95 Silver (EU) Solomon Islands 542 116 96 Silver (EU) Vanuatu 541 117 97 Silver (EU) Georgia 540 105 98 Silver (EU) Tonga 539 109 99 Silver (EU) Tuvalu 535 114 100 Silver (EU) Kiribati 535 109 101 Silver (EU) Timor-Leste 518 84 102 Russia 369 109 103 Oman 359 74 104 Turkey 359 107 105 Kuwait 349 89 106 Bronze (UK) Belize 297 86 107 Qatar 290 84 108 China 290 66 109 Bahrain 289 77 110 Belarus 288 73
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 8 > 9 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 111 Saudi Arabia 281 70 112 Thailand 272 75 113 Ecuador 270 81 114 Jamaica 268 80 115 Bronze (UK) Maldives 264 77 116 South Africa 260 92 117 Fiji 252 82 118 Bronze (UK) Papua New Guinea 240 71 119 Armenia 238 61 120 Bolivia 235 71 121 Tajikistan 234 58 122 Guyana 233 78 123 Kazakhstan 231 73 124 Bronze (UK) Nauru 227 73 125 Bronze (UK) Botswana 226 70 126 Kyrgyzstan 226 62 127 Mongolia 225 56 128 Azerbaijan 225 66 129 Dominican Republic 225 65 130 Bronze (UK) Namibia 222 66 131 Morocco 221 60 132 Tunisia 218 63 133 Jordan 215 48 134 Lebanon 209 42 135 Uzbekistan 208 57 136 Suriname 206 70 137 Indonesia 204 67 138 Haiti 189 53 139 Philippines 186 63 140 Bhutan 183 53 141 Egypt 182 48 142 India 180 55 143 Lesotho 176 68 144 Kosovo 175 44 145 Laos 172 47 146 Zambia 169 64 147 Swaziland 169 67 148 Tanzania 167 66 149 Vietnam 166 49 150 Cape Verde 165 62 Rank Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free 151 Zimbabwe 163 61 152 Cuba 163 60 153 Bronze (UK) Malawi 162 65 154 Algeria 159 49 155 Kenya 157 65 156 Turkmenistan 156 53 157 Nepal 154 39 158 Iran 149 40 159 Gambia 146 66 160 Mali 143 52 161 Senegal 143 54 162 Guinea 142 52 163 Cambodia 139 50 164 Benin 138 57 165 Myanmar 136 44 166 Uganda 135 64 167 Sao Tome 135 54 168 Gabon 133 52 169 Ivory Coast 132 54 170 Sierra Leone 131 59 171 Ghana 129 58 172 Togo 129 55 173 Liberia 128 46 174 Burkina Faso 128 55 175 Niger 127 50 176 Angola 123 47 177 Madagascar 123 52 178 Comoros 122 48 179 Sudan 121 37 180 Syria 120 29 181 Mauritania 120 55 182 Guinea-Bissau 119 50 183 Mozambique 118 51 184 Rwanda 115 53 185 Yemen 113 35 186 Chad 111 49 187 North Korea 108 40 188 South Sudan 108 39 189 Libya 106 37 190 Congo 104 45
- “Same-day travel” has become “Visa-free”. It still includes visa not required, visa-onarrival, electronic visa (eVisa) delivered in under 24h, and visa not required in transit with an authorized stay of over 24h.
- China has now been included as a “Visa not required on transit” for the qualifying countries.
- The star rating has disappeared to make way for the Gold (US & EU), Silver (EU) or Bronze (UK) standards.
- We removed the APEC Business Travel Card as a visa-free equivalent. HOW THE STC PASSPORT INDEX HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 12 > 13 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 Our old star rating has been scratched this year to make way for a simpler, improved standard consisting of Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings. The “Standard” is meant for those seeking another passport for travel purposes.
It’s a simplified labelling of a passport that provides an easy-to-understand measure of its quality. A GOLD passport enables visa-free travel to the US and Europe. A SILVER enable visa-free to Europe. These two main standards will facilitate the classification of Citizenship by Investment programs according to whether a country offers a “Gold” or “Silver” passport. Currently, Malta is the only Citizenship by Investment program offering the Gold passport; most other programs, like those in the Caribbean, carry the Silver standard.
INTRODUCING THE GOLD STANDARD Rating Country STC Travel Score # of Visa-free Destinations Dual Allowed Gold (US & EU) Malta 814 153 Y Silver (EU) Cyprus 795 151 Y Silver (EU) Saint Kitts and Nevis 577 127 Y Silver (EU) Grenada 577 120 Y Silver (EU) Antigua and Barbuda 563 125 Y Silver (EU) Dominica 556 115 Y Silver (EU) Saint Lucia 556 121 Y Silver (EU) Moldova 556 108 Y Silver (EU) Montenegro 549 108 Y Silver (EU) Vanuatu 541 117 Y Turkey 359 107 Y Cambodia 139 50 N* Comoros 122 48 Y WHY THE STC PASSPORT INDEX IS MORE ACCURATE Other Indexes rank passports solely on their Visa-Free score, meaning they are ranked by how many countries you can travel to without having to apply for a visa beforehand.
Visa-free score is an easy measurement, as it represents a clear number. Unfortunately, not every country has the same importance as a touristic or business destination; visa-free travel to Palau is not equal to visa-free to France. There is no way around that. Some countries are much more important to travelers than others, and other Passport rankings fail to acknowledge that by maintaining the anonymity of the exact destinations by merely providing a number. This is why we index every visa-free destination with the number of international touristic arrivals. It enables us to show the real importance each destination has in international travel.
But this is not the only thing that makes the STC Passport index more accurate. Other passport indexes completely forget to weight the amount of time one can stay visa-free in a jurisdiction; a visa-free stay of 7 days in Hong Kong should not carry as much weight as 6 months. We also link indexed destination to the length of authorized stay to ensure that both the importance of destination and its length of stay are accounted for in the score.
- San Marino (90 days)
- Mauritius (60 days)
- Bahamas, Barbados, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga (30 days)
- Brunei, Japan, Singapore (15 days) If you look a lit bit closer, you realise that in most cases, other foreigners can also be allowed to stay a few days in China without a visa, as long as they are in transit. (That is, as long as the outbound flight's first stop or destination is in a different country than the inbound flight's). In a worst-case scenario, you are allowed to stay 24h in transit without a visa, at best 144h at the transit point. If you are only visiting a factory, that 24h might be enough, and most airports in the Mainland will allow the transit. You can also have multiple transit points in Mainland China over the course of the 24h/72h/144h transit period. Nationals traveling with a certain passport are required to hold a visa even when in transit (British Overseas Nationals, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan). The rest are either eligible for 24h or, for certain nationals, longer (some exceptions apply). E.g.
A Canadian national buying a ticket for Vancouver – Beijing requires a visa to travel to Mainland China. A Canadian national buying a ticket from Vancouver – Beijing – Hong Kong does not require a visa to travel to Mainland China. He/she is allowed to stay up to 72h in Beijing.
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 16 > 17 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 The countries eligible to the 72h/144h Albania Argentina Australia Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Japan Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Mexico Monaco Montenegro Netherlands New Zealand Poland Portugal Qatar Romania Russia Serbia Slovakia Slovenia South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine United Arab Emirates United States Here is a list of ports of entry with their maximum length of stay for the nationals of eligible countries: Port of Entry Areas permitted to stay Maximum length of stau Beijing Capital International Airport Beijing 72 hours Changsha Huanghua International Airport Hunan Province 72 hours Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport Chengdu 72 hours Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport Chongqing 72 hours Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Dalian 72 hours Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Guangdong Province 72 hours Guilin Liangjiang International Airport Guilin 72 hours Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province 144 hours Harbin Taiping International Airport Harbin 72 hours Kunming Changshui International Airport Kunming 72 hours Nanjing Lukou International Airport Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province 144 hours Qingdao Liuting International Airport Shandong Province 72 hours Shanghai Pudong International Airport Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province 144 hours Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province 144 hours Shenyang Taoxian International Airport Shenyang 72 hours Tianjin Binhai International Airport Tianjin 72 hours Wuhan Tianhe International Airport Wuhan 72 hours Xi'an Xianyang International Airport Xi'an & Xianyang 72 hours Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport Xiamen 72 hours In addition, the Special Economic Zones of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Xiamen provide visa-on-arrival for 3 days (5 days in Shenzhen) as long as you stay in those cities.
Certain nationals, mostly from the Middle East and Africa, are not eligible. Hainan island is also a special zone that offers visa-on-arrival for a maximum stay of 15 days for certain western nationals arriving from Haikou Meilan International Airport or Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 18 > 19 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 APEC BUSINESS TRAVEL CARD In the past, we equated the possession of an APEC Business Travel Card to having visa-free status. We have removed that feature from our calculations, along with its visa-free equivalence. The reason is that although the APEC card is very convenient and facilitates visa-free travel to dozens of countries, the APEC BTC requires an application just like a visa, and it’s not accessible to everyone. Only certain businesspeople are eligible to have APEC travel cards.
MAINLAND TRAVEL PERMIT We have maintained visa-free equivalence for the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong & Macau residents and Taiwan nationals, which allows these nationals to travel to the Mainland.
We have done so because these permits are accessible to all those holding these passports, even if it requires an application. They can be valid for multiple years and allow an unlimited stay in the Mainland. The data presented here was collected in fall 2017, but includes all changes programmed in advance for the year 2018. Visa Information was taken from the International Air Transport Association timatic website and from official government websites (see SOURCES on website).
The electronic visa delivery times were taken from the relevant official government websites (see SOURCES on website). There are discrepancies between the IATA timatic website and information provided by governments, which makes it difficult to evaluate the reliability of Methodology
STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 > 20 > 21 STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018 some information. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that all our information is correct. Nevertheless, we spent additional time looking into each country’s policy to determine the visa policy of each, above and beyond what is commonly known and accessible on timatic.
STATUS GOLD: Visa-free travel to the US & EU SILVER: Visa-free travel to the EU BRONZE: Visa-free travel to the UK DESTINATIONS We have included in our list of countries all the nations recognized by the UN, with the addition of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Kosovo. Our list of countries can vary with other passport rankings, thus giving different visa-free counts.
VISA-FREE Visa-free travel includes all destinations accessible by visa-free travel, visa-onarrival, electronic visas delivered in under 24h and visa-free on transit for lengths of more than 24h. Stays via transit allow the traveler to access the country without holding a visa, as long as its final destination is somewhere else. SCORE POINTS Score points are a result of the ability to travel visa-free to a given territory relative to its importance as a destination and the amount of time one is allowed to stay there. The importance is based on the number of annual travelers to a given country (as compiled annually by UNWTO) and how long a traveler is allowed to stay in the jurisdiction.
DUAL CITIZENSHIP Elaborates on the possibility of obtaining dual citizenship. In some cases, you will need to refer to the notes on the website for more detailed explanation. LENGTH OF STAY Length of stay may include extensions or extended stays available for purchase on arrival. Length of stay is normally for tourist reasons, unless visa-free access is possible only for business reasons.
Stephane Tajick Consulting 1414 Chomdey, 1033 Montreal, Qc H3H 0A2, Canada www.stephanetconsulting.com email@example.com www.globalresidenceindex.com firstname.lastname@example.org Disclamer Stephane Tajick Consulting and Best Development Group Ltd, (the ‘business’) is a provider of demographic consultancy data for relocating purposes.
The business, publishing this report, shall not be held liable under any law of tort or contract for the inaccuracy or misinterpretation of any statements contained in its website or articles, or obtained through use of any of its de facto representative media pages. While Stephane Tajick Consulting strives to ensure all information and specifications, including but not limited to visa policy and requirements. Any inaccuracies, misrepresentations or outdated information put forward by Stephane Tajick Consulting and any statement provided which is not addressed to you in direct communication with the business will not, to any degree, be cause for any claim to be brought against it.
You hereby unconditionally waive your right to hold the business accountable for any such outdated information and accept that any information is liable to change without prior notice, including but not exclusive to visa requirement and length of stay which were not personally and expressly communicated to you. Changes in nation’s laws and regulations are subject to certain factors which lie beyond the control of the respective owners and/or representatives. You hereby unconditionally agree to hold harmless Stephane Tajick Consulting and all related bodies and representatives, whether direct or indirect, for all of the above inaccuracy or misinterpretation of any statements contained in its website STC PASSPORT INDEX 2018