Global Citizen Solutions has launched its list of the ten best passports in the world in 2023 in its Global Passport Index. Our method looks beyond simple mobility and utilizes a robust quantitative scoring system to evaluate the number of visa-free countries a passport has access to, alongside investment opportunities and quality of life indicators.
Not only does the Global Passport Index show the mobility score of a passport, but the ranking system also incorporates investment opportunities and quality of life factors. This makes it an essential point of reference for investors contemplating securing a second passport through a residency by investment (RBI) or citizenship by investment (CBI) program.
What are RBI and CBI programs?
RBI and CBI programs essentially do what they say on the tin. An RBI program allows an individual to gain residency in a country in return for them making an investment into the country, for example, in real estate or government bonds. You can usually secure citizenship in the country through naturalization after holding your investment for a certain number of years, provided you meet all the requirements.
CBI programs go one step further, whereby you can secure citizenship in exchange for direct foreign investment.
How the Global Passport Index Can Help You Understand the Best CBI and RBI Programs in the World
Given the fact that our Global Passport Index takes into account how many countries you can access visa-free with a passport, in addition, to ease of doing business and quality of life indicators, whatever investors are looking for – whether for investment opportunities or for relocation purposes – the Global Passport Index will likely be a handy tool.
You can find our Global Passport Index in full here.
Let’s break this down a little bit more and provide you with a brief overview of each index.
Enhanced mobility Index
The Enhanced Mobility Index goes beyond just counting the number of countries or territories that a passport can grant you access to and includes a scoring system based on the country’s “desirability.”
The Enhanced Mobility Index is worth 50 percent of the composite score.
You can read about which countries come out on top in our Enhanced Mobility Index here.
The Investment Index provides insights into how attractive a passport is based on investment opportunities. With the right passport, you will be able to do business freely and enjoy advantageous tax schemes. For investors looking to secure a second passport, an investor-friendly passport is a great option to safeguard your financial freedoms abroad.
The Investment Index is worth 25 percent of the composite score.
You can read about which countries rank highly in our Investment Index here.
Quality of Life Index
The Quality of Life Index is particularly important for investors looking to relocate. The Quality of Life Index. There were six main weights of indicators included for this index: Sustainable Development Goals (30 percent), cost of living (20 percent), level of freedom (20 percent), happiness (10 percent), environmental performance (10 percent), and migrant acceptance (10 percent).
The Quality of Life Index is worth 25 percent of the composite score.
You can read about which countries come out on top in our Quality of Life Index here.
Which RBI and CBI programs come out on top in our Global Passport Index?
If you’re interested in broadening your financial and personal horizons and gaining second citizenship through an RBI or CBI program, which countries come out on top in our Global Passport Index?
Note that this list is not exhaustive. For example, there are excellent programs in Turkey, Cyprus, Vanuatu, and Curuçao that are also worth exploring.
RBI and CBI Programs in Europe
How do the European passports that offer these programs fare in our Global Passport Index, and which offers the best second passport? Here is a selection of some of the best programs open to you.
Spain ranks highly in the Global Passport Index, coming in the 21st position and performing exceptionally well in the Enhanced Mobility Index (4th) and the Quality of Living Index (9th).
The Spanish RBI program, referred to as the Spanish Golden Visa, provides investors with the right to reside in the country in return for an investment in real estate, public debt securities, stock, shares, or bank deposits, or as a business investment. What’s more, after ten years, you can apply for Spanish citizenship, providing you with all the perks that come with having an EU passport.
Italy is one of the most important economies in Europe, with one of the best cuisines in the world, a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and buzzing cities. The Italian Golden Visa, an RBI program, provides investors with the ability to live in the country in exchange for an investment in the country. There is also the possibility of securing citizenship after ten years.
And investors interested in the Italian Golden Visa – also referred to as “Dolce Visa” performs well in our Global Passport Index, ranking in 26th position.
The country performs particularly well in the Enhanced Mobility Index (8th position) and in the Quality of Living Index (23rd position).
Investors interested in the Golden Visa can enjoy a special tax regime, freedom of movement in the EU, and – it goes without saying – a fantastic lifestyle in one of the most spectacular countries in the world.
The Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most popular Golden Visa RBI programs in the world, providing investors with a high quality of life, a short stay requirement, advantageous tax benefits, and an array of investment options.
Note that the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end. You can check out our article for the latest information on the topic.
Portugal ranks in 31st position in the Global Passport Index, performing particularly well in the Enhanced Mobility Index (12th position) and the Quality of Living Index (13th position).
For investors turning their attention to Malta, there are two options on the table. The island nation, situated south of Italy, provides both an RBI program, the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP), and a citizenship program, the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program.
Both options provide you with the right to live in Malta, a country with a high quality of life, endless sunshine, and tax benefits.
Malta ranks in 34th position in our Global Passport Index.
Programs in the Caribbean
How do Caribbean passports fare in our Global Passport Index, and which offers the best second passport? In this section, we’ll provide you with a brief overview of each.
Dominica ranks in 78th position in our Global Passport Index. The country’s CBI program provides investors with passports for the entire family, a quick application process, and visa-free travel to 146 countries. The minimum investment starts from $100,000.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis clocks in at number 53 on the Global Passport Index. The country’s CBI program provides excellent tax benefits, visa-free travel to 153 countries, and the entire family is eligible. The minimum investment starts from $250,000.
Saint Lucia ranks in 75th position in the Global Passport Index. With a minimum investment of $100,000, you can quire a Saint Lucia passport and enjoy certain tax freedoms and visa-free travel to 148 countries.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda ranks at number 59 on the Global Passport Index. The country’s CBI program provides a quick application, visa-free travel to 150 countries, and the entire family is eligible. The minimum investment starts from $100,000.
Grenada is the only Caribbean country that provides its passport holders with the right to apply for the USA E2 visa. Grenada ranks at number 67 on the Global Passport Index. The country’s CBI program provides a quick application, visa-free travel to 147 countries, and the entire family is eligible. The minimum investment starts from $150,000.
How to choose the right program for you?
One of the best qualities of the Global Passport Index is that you can use the tool to compare passports using the “compare passport” feature. This can help you to gain further insights into determining which one is best for you. For example, if you are more interested in investment opportunities or quality of life, you can compare these indexes between the two countries. Each individual will be looking for something different.
The fact that there are standalone indexes also allows investors to focus on what they hope to get out of securing a second passport. An investor looking for financial possibilities can refer to the Investment Index, while an investor looking to relocate with their family can consult the Quality of Living Index.
It’s worth remembering that each RBI and CBI program will offer something different. If you are interested in securing a second passport, you should determine what you are looking to get out of having a second passport, whether it’s greater visa-free access, financial freedoms, security for your family, or a lovely country to relocate to that has a high quality of life.
We hope that you find the Global Passport Index a useful tool to determine which route is best for you.
Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm focused on finding the right relocation, residency, or citizenship-by-investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens. If you are looking for assistance in determining which RBI or CBI program could be the right option for you, we’d love to discuss your requirements. You can get in touch with us here.