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Five of the most powerful passports in Asia-Pacific

29 Apr 2015 by Clement Huang

JAPAN

VISA FREE COUNTRIES 172

COST OF PASSPORT US$115

MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP Having multiple passports is not allowed in Japan. Any person who holds dual citizenship must make a “declaration of choice” between the ages of 21 and 22, where they must either renounce their Japanese nationality or their foreign citizenship(s). While exceptions have been made, these are rare.

GETTING A JAPANESE PASSPORT Applicants must have lived in the country for a minimum of five years, and be over twenty years of age. In addition to the basic requirements, one must also provide an enormous amount of documentation too. The process is lengthy with the Ministry of Justice stating that it will take approximately six months to a year. The good news is that there is over a 98 per cent success rate for approval.

moj.go.jp

 

SINGAPORE

VISA FREE COUNTRIES 170

COST OF PASSPORT US$60

MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP Like Japan, dual citizenship in Singapore is not allowed. Foreigners who naturalise as Singaporean citizens are required to renounce any foreign passports. Singapore’s resistance to this stems from the country’s geopolitical position. As a small nation with high levels of migrant populations, the country has always been wary of having its citizens allegiance compromised in the case of a national crisis.

GETTING A SINGAPORE PASSPORT There are several ways in which people can be eligible for a Singapore citizenship. As a rule of thumb, an eligible person has to be a permanent resident that has resided in the country for two to six years. In addition, male applicants under the age of 21 must complete two years mandatory national service.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS As of September last year, Singapore passport holders can sign up for the e-Channel service in Hong Kong, that allows them to clear immigration faster when travelling to the Chinese Special Administrative Region.

mfa.gov.sg

 

NEW ZEALAND

VISA FREE COUNTRIES 170

COST OF PASSPORT US$115

MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP Good news! Dual or multiple citizenships has been permitted since the creation of New Zealand citizenship in 1949.

GETTING A NEW ZEALAND PASSPORT Surprisingly, becoming a New Zealander is a pretty straightforward process. One has to live in the country for five years, and provide proof of good character (e.g. no criminal record, healthy bank statements, etc) during the time spent there. Furthermore, applicants must be able to speak and understand English well. Finally, successful applicants must attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath of allegiance.

immigration.co.nz

 

AUSTRALIA 

VISA FREE COUNTRIES 168

COST OF PASSPORT US$206

MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP Ever since April 2002, there have been no restrictions on Australians holding multiple citizenships at the same time. However, when entering or exiting the country, all Aussies are required to use the Australian passport to do so, irrespective of whether they have another citizenship or not.

GETTING AN AUSTRALIAN PASSPORT In order to attain Australian citizenship, applicants have to reside in the country for a period of two years and obtain permanent resident status, which is often a lengthy and even expensive process. Candidates will also have to demonstrate a basic grasp of the English language (though this does not apply to people over 50).

immi.gov.au

 

MALAYSIA

VISA FREE COUNTRIES 168

COST OF PASSPORT US$55

MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP Dual or multiple citizenship is not allowed in Malaysia. There are no exceptions. Renunciation of Malaysian citizenship in favour of another is permitted though.

GETTING A MALAYSIAN PASSPORT As Malaysia does not support dual citizenship, applicants are required to renounce their existing nationality for a Malaysian passport. Foreigners can attain Malaysian citizenship by naturalisation – where the only requirements are that they are over the age of 21, have lived in the country for more than 10 years, and have a rudimentary understanding of the Malay language. Interestingly, Malaysia was the first country to issue a biometric passport in 1998. Today, over 100 countries issue biometric passports.

malaysia.visahq.com

 

25 most powerful passports in the world:

*Passport statistics by GoEuro, 2014

Clement Huang

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