The Best Passport in Asia Is…

It’s no secret that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has given up his US passport for a long time now. The rumours immediately started that he was going to take up Singapore citizenship since he currently resides in the island state. However, the restriction that Singapore does not allow for dual citizenship would have meant that Eduardo had to give up his Brazilian citizenship. Which I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do in a hurry.

Lots of Americans are following suit. Whether for tax reasons like Eduardo, their disillusion with the American system, or just want to get a head start for their future generations as part of the Asian boom.

From a travellers perspective, you’d best be looking at the amount of countries you can visit without a visa. This is a good factor to take into consideration when contemplating which country to take citizenship in. It also gives a good idea about the country’s diplomatic relations and trade relations with the rest of the world. Being a citizen of a country that has lots of free trade agreements with the rest of the world is always a good thing.

So the winner is

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Japan. With visa-free entry to 170 countries, it appears that nowhere has a big problem with Japanese citizens entering their shores. The bad news for you however is that becoming a Japanese citizen is notoriously difficult (and not to mention their language isn’t all that easy to learn either)

And the rest…

Great countries to have a passport from:

New Zealand – 168 Countries
Singapore – 167 Countries
Australia – 167 Countries
South Korea – 166 Countries
Malaysia – 163 Countries (Note that Israel and Malaysia do not have diplomatic relations)
Hong Kong – 152 Countries

Not so good:

UAE – 72 Countries
Thailand – 64 Countries
India – 52 Countries
Vietnam – 45 Countries
China – 44 Countries
Nepal – 37 Countries
Pakistan – 32 Countries
Afghanistan – 28 Countries
Phillipines – 25 Countries (and definitely no trips to Iraq)

If you’re an avid traveller or you travel to many different foreign countries regularly, then this list is pretty valid. It becomes a different perspective when you want to consider which country is the best to live in and has its citizens looked after well by the government.

Agree? Disagree? Would you ever swap your US passport for a passport from a stable Asian economy?

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