Best Passports for International Travel

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MX, Apr 19, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Started thinking on this subject after coming across one of the ubiquitous lists:
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/which-passports-are-the-best-and-worst-to-have-2015-04-16
    This particular one was put together by a company selling various "passport for investment" schemes.
    Not surprisingly USA (along with UK) is their #1 seller. But their only metric was the number of countries willing to admit a passport holder. I could add several other metrics to consider:
    * Support of your home country in case of emergency or war.
    * A long and growing list of reciprocal fees.
    * Responsibilities of citizenship (taxes, mandatory paperwork and reporting, military service).
    * Benefits of citizenship (services, healthcare, safety net).
    The last two are not really travel-related, but come with the passport anyways. :)

    So what are the biased opinions of this community?
     
    anileze, Newscience and iolaire like this.
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    At the height of international terrorism threat, mainly by bin Laden's Al Qaeda, holding a US passport was a liability because would-be hijackers would usually single out US citizens for use as hostages or bargaining chips to achieve their objective. With Al Qaeda now in disarray and the US passport remaining widely accepted around the globe, I do agree with its top ranking...
     
    anileze, Newscience and iolaire like this.
  3. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    22,439
    Status Points:
    11,025
    There's also another factor which is considering US's influence right now on the global scale of economic and politics. It would theoretically be beneficial for a country to admit the passport holder just on the basis of economy itself.

    We also have to realize that since 9/11, U.S. has massively increased their monitoring and prosecution of suspected terrorists and have one of the top intelligence agencies, and countries are more open to admit Americans on the basis of safety. "If he was a suspect, he would have been arrested already"

    I met a guy in Maldives who holds a Syrian passport, but lives in Doha and is a board certified doctor. He also speaks fluent English. But because of his passport, he gets questioned every time he goes traveling.
     
    WilliamQ, anileze, NYCUA1K and 3 others like this.
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Most admission procedures are bilateral in nature. A country could theoretically benefit from increased tourism from the US. But they feel obligated to impose fees and other barriers to entry, just because the US imposes the same on their citizens. Recent changes for travel to Argentina, Brazil, Australia are good examples.
     
    WilliamQ, anileze, NYCUA1K and 2 others like this.
  5. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    You are absolutely right about that, MX! And travel to countries which don't particularly agree with US policies can make for some interesting experiences. And while pulling a DYKWIA may work well with the airlines, I'd advise against it in such instances when dealing with customs/police/airport security overseas. In such events, being respectful, patient and firmly stating your travel intent can work wonders.
     
    WilliamQ, anileze, NYCUA1K and 2 others like this.
  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    That's not a surprise at all. I know Iraqis and other Arabs whose passports invite some scrutiny in the US, but who are more warmly welcomed when travelling to other Arab nations.
     
    WilliamQ, anileze, NYCUA1K and 2 others like this.
  7. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Speaking of interesting experiences when visiting the 3d world, I often felt that Americans are considered an easy target for all sorts of tricks and scams. So I started experimenting (with cabbies, street vendors, etc) when asked where I was from. Depending on my response, the difference was incredible at times!

    Now it would be nice to get some input from non-USA passport holders about their experiences.
     
    WilliamQ, Newscience and anileze like this.
  8. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    22,439
    Status Points:
    11,025
    We Canadians often get mistaken as Americans. Once you tell them you're not they seem to treat you somewhat better (especially in Europe).

    I was once in Fiji and the store employees would try to compliment you so that you'll buy things. I guess they had a slow day. They targeted Asians mostly because they've known to shop shop shop.

    The conversation went something like this:

    Sales: "Oh your English is so good!" "Nice watch too looks good on you!"
    Me: Uh...thanks.
    Sales: "where are you from in China?"
    Me: I'm from Canada.


    *awkward silence*.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
    higal, WilliamQ, Newscience and 3 others like this.
  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    That's good to know. :) Can you get into all Commonwealth countries without visas or fees?
    Funny experience in Fiji too!
     
  10. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    22,439
    Status Points:
    11,025
    Most of them no visas. One exception is Australia but then again they require an ETA for almost all countries. :p
     
  11. Gary70

    Gary70 Silver Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    34
    Status Points:
    130
    I agree with sammich. Even though, U.S. Passport gives you an easy entry into number of countries, it's not always the best to have.

    I am Russian speaking US citizen and experienced this first hand in Europe and in Canada. Americans are not very much liked, but definitely treated as a cash cow.
     
    WilliamQ, Sammich, Newscience and 2 others like this.
  12. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Yes, absolutely, if you are a "Norteamericano", you are assumed to be wealthy unless otherwise proven not to be! :D

    And let's face it, many folks travelling internationally - and those on Milepoint - are quite wealthy when compared to the average citizen of most of the world's countries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    B1BomberVB, bez7, WilliamQ and 2 others like this.
  13. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Well, FWIW, US money is well received just about anywhere in the world! :rolleyes:

    Among the places I've received crappy treatment as an American traveler (from officials and some vendors) have been in the former Soviet Union countries. And if you don't speak Turkish or Arabic and are stuck in very long line in IST customs/security, you are in for a treat! :eek:
     
    B1BomberVB, WilliamQ and MX like this.
  14. Gary70

    Gary70 Silver Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    34
    Status Points:
    130
    In the former Soviet Union countries you will get "crappy" treatment regardless of your nationality. This is the way business is done there. I had both good and bad experience as American traveler in Russia. From charged double or three time price for museum entrance to getting a discount airfare just because we were Americans who spoke Russian.
     
    B1BomberVB, MX and Newscience like this.
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,198
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Clearly you don't have enough maple leaf patches and stickers all over your bags and clothes.
     
    B1BomberVB, Gargoyle, bez7 and 2 others like this.
  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    I would be very surprised if anyone or any place "official" (e.g., a museum) charges double or triple for entrance in Moscow just because one is an American. It is illegal even in Russia and anyone who pays double or triple for any official tourist attraction without getting the official multi-lingual brochure that explains a bunch of stuff and provides the "official" entrance fees deserves to be cheated. I spent nearly a week in Moscow and the only thing I had to be very careful about with respect to overcharge was taking "unofficial" taxis. In NYC we call such unofficial taxis "gypsy cabs", meaning that Moscow is not the only place where one has to be careful about being taken for a ride...:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    B1BomberVB, Newscience and Sammich like this.
  17. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    22,439
    Status Points:
    11,025

    You just need a friend who has some influence in Moscow...free entry for any attractions as well as food! :p
     
    WilliamQ, MX and Newscience like this.
  18. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    And let's face it, if you have any very influential friends in Moscow, you will be getting a whole lot more than free entry and food! :D
     
    WilliamQ, MX and Sammich like this.
  19. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    12,791
    Status Points:
    10,675
    Well, India requires a visa before arrival from canadians. But soon will move to the Aussie model for Canadians :)
     
  20. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    12,791
    Status Points:
    10,675
    I think Henley&Partner's have a slightly different ranking - https://www.henleyglobal.com/international-visa-restrictions/

    I'd trust Henley. Given that USP holders need a visa for Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba and a slew of African countries and some 'Stans; The nordic countries are non-threatening, hence a few more countries have opened their non-visa doors.
     
    Newscience and MX like this.
  21. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Great find, thanks!
     
    anileze and Newscience like this.
  22. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,499
    Likes Received:
    14,268
    Status Points:
    10,675
    Okay. I officially dispute this statement. :(
    I wish it was true though.
     
    Newscience and MX like this.
  23. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,499
    Likes Received:
    14,268
    Status Points:
    10,675
    I know someone. He might not know me back. That works? :D
     
    anileze and Newscience like this.
  24. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    RU Putin us on, WilliamQ? :p

    putin-countries-own.jpg
     
    B1BomberVB, anileze, MX and 1 other person like this.
  25. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Oh, I think that it is. I've been to some countries where the average citizen would envy a "street person" in the U.S. :(
     
    B1BomberVB, anileze and WilliamQ like this.

Share This Page