A Small but Powerful Book

The Czech Passport has been declared one of the most powerful in the world in 2023. Why is that? How many doors does it open, and are Czechs taking advantage of it?

Detail of passenger's hand holding passport of the Czech Republic on the airplane.
Photo: iStock.com / narvikk

Even though the Czech Republic is just a tiny country in the middle of Europe, its people are equipped with one of the strongest passports on the planet. At least, that’s what the two most prestigious surveys say.

Czechia: The free-entry heavyweight

Regarding passports and their global rankings, the Czech Republic may not be the first country that springs to mind. However, beneath its unassuming cover lies a document that has quietly risen in strength and power internationally. The Czech passport, with its rich history, strong diplomatic ties, and access to an extensive network of countries, is a testament to the strength of Czech diplomacy and a powerful tool for global mobility.

The Czech passport has steadily climbed the ranks throughout the years in this regard. And the global rankings prove that. According to the Henley Passport Index compiled by the Henley & Partners investment and migration consultancy firm based in London, the Czech Republic’s passport ranks 7th in the latest 1st Quarter of 2023 survey. It allows its holders, Czech citizens, visa-free access to 187 countries.

Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States ranked 7th alongside the Czech Republic. Only Austria has overtaken the Czech Republic in 5th place of the Three Seas Initiative countries. The Czech Republic is followed by Hungary and Poland, which are tied for 9th place. Croatia and Bulgaria were the worst performers among the Three Seas Initiative countries, coming in 18th place. Their passports get their citizens visa-free access to 175 countries.

More comprehensive index, same position

Another major compiler of passport strength rankings is Nomad Capitalist. It advises six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs on the issues of legal offshore tax planning, citizenship and lifestyle planning, and international wealth. In addition to the number of visa-free contacts with other countries, Nomad Capitalist includes variables such as the level of taxation, the international perception of the country, the possibility of dual citizenship, and personal freedom in its ranking.

In this prestigious ranking, the Czech Republic is also ranked 7th. On the status of the Czech Republic, Nomad Capitalist adds: “Maintaining a top 10 spot four years in a row, the Czech Republic is a popular expat destination with a rich culture. Located in the center of Europe, the nation joined the EU in 2004. Czech passport holders, therefore, enjoy a high degree of travel freedom. Plus, with proper structuring, you can also enjoy a considerable degree of tax freedom.” The closest countries to the Three Seas Initiative are Slovakia on the 20th and Romania on the 22nd. Poland is the last country within the Three Seas Initiative, in 37th place.

The result of tireless diplomatic work

So, what is the main reason the Czech passport is among the most powerful globally? One of the key factors contributing to the strength of the Czech passport is the nation’s robust diplomatic ties.
The Czech Republic has diligently nurtured diplomatic relationships with countries around the world. During the years of Communism, Czechoslovakia was one of the most diplomatically active nations in Africa and the Middle East. Today, its participation in international organizations like the European Union, United Nations, and NATO has allowed it to forge strong alliances and promote global cooperation.

Furthermore, the Czech Republic has maintained a reputation for political stability and responsible governance, which enhance other nations’ trust in its citizens. This trust is reflected in the visa-free or visa-on-arrival access that Czech passport holders enjoy in numerous countries.
One significant advantage Czech passport holders enjoy is their membership in the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Area, comprising 26 European countries, allows passport-free travel within its borders. This convenience not only simplifies travel for Czech citizens within Europe but also offers a gateway to explore the diverse cultures and landscapes of the continent with ease.

A powerful tool in the hands of passionate travelers

Every year, more than 53% of Czechs go on holiday abroad. Some travel abroad several times a year. And that’s when a strong passport comes in handy more than anything else. And the fact that Czechs like to travel is proven by the figures of the Czech Statistical Office. More than 6.5 million Czechs traveled abroad in 2022. This is a figure that is identical to the pre-pandemic situation. It can, therefore, be said that Czechs are using their passports as much as before.

In the end, we can say that the Czech passport symbolizes strength and diplomacy in a world where global mobility and interconnectedness are increasingly vital. Its holders benefit from the country’s commitment to international cooperation and responsible governance, enjoying visa-free access to various nations.

Whether for business, leisure, or educational pursuits, the Czech passport empowers its citizens to explore and contribute to the global community. As the Czech Republic continues to strengthen its diplomatic ties and international standing, the future of its passport looks even brighter, offering its citizens more opportunities and experiences on the global stage.

Marek Koten

A Ph.D. student in economics, specializing in nuclear energy from the Czech Republic, he also serves as a political consultant to the Czech government and the U.S. Republican Party.

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