I was talking with a friend of mine recently who was sure that an American passport was the most powerful. I started wondering about this as while it seems reasonable, I don’t think it is actually so. It would seem that the commonwealth countries have a more powerful passport for a few reasons.
- The commonwealth countries are able to participate in Working Holiday programs run by most western governments pretty much except the US. Such programs operated on a reciprocal basis and since the US doesn’t want to offer working holidays, holders of a US Passport can’t do a working holiday on that basis.
- Less restricted travel. Holders of a commonwealth passport can go to countries that the US restricts its citizens from traveling to, such as countries like Afghanistan or Iran. To my knowledge most commonwealth countries don’t prevent their citizens from going to such countries, even if it is a warzone. Not to mention being able to go to Cuba without having to hide it.
- Holders with a commonwealth passport get longer in other commonwealth countries. For example most people from a commonwealth country will get six months in the UK, while holders of a US passport only get three.
I am unable to think of any advantages a US passport has over a commonwealth passport. I would have thought commonwealth passports were essentially equal to a US passport, but given the above advantages it would seem that are actually better to have. I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this.