Visas typically require approval from the destination country’s government, which can take weeks or months, and often cost a lot of money.
However, having a passport that has visa-free access to more countries enables citizens to travel with ease.
This has great economic and social benefits for citizens and their countries, and governments are always looking to expand their relationships and make travel and business easier for their citizens.
Investment migration experts Globalresidenceindex.com have conducted research to discover which passports have had the most improvement over the last 10 years.
United Arab Emirates
It’s no surprise that the UAE is a destination everyone wants to either vacay or start a life there. In addition, the UAE is a desert hub for business and travel.
It is between East and West, advanced economies and developing ones, and over the last 10 years, the UAE has become increasingly accessible, and in return, UAE passport holders can enjoy increased mobility.
In 2013, the UAE passport had visa-free access to only 72 countries. This has increased to 178 in 2023.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +106
Colombia may be considered dangerous, with the dark cloud hanging over its name.
However, the country has been working on opening itself to tourists, and giving them an opportunity to explore the beauty and culture of it. It is noted that Colombia is much safer than it was many years ago.
Colombia's economy is growing rapidly. In 2013, Colombia only had visa-free access to 63 countries.
In 2023, this has increased to 133, giving Colombians much easier access to travel and do business all over the globe. This increased global access means that citizens can travel, build and develop all over the world.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +70
Ukraine has been at the forefront of international headlines over the past year due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.
However, Ukraine has seen increasing integration with the rest of the world in the form of greater visa-free access to more countries. In 2013 Ukraine only had access to 77 countries visa-free. This is now 144.
However, ‘’Ukraine Travel Advice and Safety’’ advises the following: ‘’We continue to advise you, do not travel to Ukraine due to the volatile security environment and military conflict. If you're currently in Ukraine, we urge you to depart if it's safe to do so.’’
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +67
Dominica is known for its Eastern Caribbean sea and dramatic landscapes, waterfalls, lakes, gorges and hot springs, everything water! Dominica is a popular destination for many, and tourist flock to explore the natural views.
In addition, Dominica is one of the poorest Caribbean countries, despite the fact that its rich in natural beauty, it offers limited economic and social opportunities.
Dominica has looked to improve the power of its passports and has gone from 87 visa-free countries to 144.
They also offer an Entrepreneur Visa scheme which allows candidates to obtain citizenship through investment.
According to the programme, applicants need to invest a minimum amount of $50,000 to apply, and in doing so, new citizens can utilise all aspects of being a Dominica passport holder.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +57
Grenada is another Caribbean country that has similar economic, social and political characteristics as its island neighbours, and thus citizens can have similar issues with travel and business. Since 2013, Grenada has expanded its number of visa-free travel destinations to 145 from 88.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +57
Apart from the song that’s been ringing in our heads, and one of the main tourist attractions is Machu Picchu, it even made it on the one of Seven Wonders of the World list. Peru is on the top recommendation on any travel-blogger journal or website.
The South America country shares a large stretch of border with Colombia, a country that has also experienced large growth in passport power over the last 10 years. In 2013, Peru had visa-free access to 80 countries. In 2023 this has grown to 136.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +56
Home to rainforests, beaches, botanical gardens, and historical sites, St Lucia is a popular destination for all travellers. It also has a variety of beaches, and each of them has its own vibe to it.
Overall, the Caribbean has seen huge growth, influence and interest as it offers fantastic benefits to its citizens, and St. Lucia is no different. With visa-free travel to 146 countries in 2023, the St. Lucia passport has become increasingly powerful over the past few years, adding an extra 52 countries.
2013 to 2023 visa-free countries change: +52
A spokesperson from Globalresidenceindex.com said: “Holding a powerful passport is a crucial advantage, where you can move visa-free, have significant investment opportunities and a high quality of life that comes with a shared duty to the rest of the globe.
“Being able to travel for leisure and business is pivotal in the development and growth of nations and individuals.
Passports are supposed to represent freedom, and it’s in the government's interests to make that freedom as accessible as possible.
“Many countries have begun to open their doors to make travel and business much more streamlined and accessible.
“Despite all of the tension and conflict that headlines the news, globalisation is bringing many positives to developing and established nations.
“The world has never been so connected, and the increase in most nations' passport power over the last 10 years demonstrates this.”
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