THE 2018 STC PASSPORT INDEX
 

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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.

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 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 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-on-arrival, 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 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.

Visa Information were taken from the International Air Transport Association and in other cases, when information was not sufficient, from official government websites. https://www.timaticweb.com

The electronic visa delivery time were taken from their relevant official government website.

The number of annual travelers to a given country compiled annually by UNWTO. http://www.e-unwto.org/

Dual Citizenship information was taken from our data-base taken in turn by each country citizenship law.

List of government website http://globalresidenceindex.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Source.xlsx