Antigua and Barbuda’s Office of the Prime Minister yesterday revealed the country had just clinched the biggest visa-waiver agreement there is – in terms of landmass – by signing with Russia. The deal catapults the Antiguan passport’s overall landmass-access score from 25% of the world to 37%.
And what a difference it’s made; signing with the world’s largest country (at over 16 million km2, Russia area makes up 11% of the world’s landmass) has pushed the Antiguan passport up 5 spots – from 10th to 5th – in terms of total visa-free accessible landmass.
Antigua & Barbuda becomes the fourth Caribbean CIP-country to gain visa-free access to Russia for its passport-holders (of the region’s five CIP-jurisdictions, only Saint Lucia remains without it) and the 7th overall.
Seven out of 12 formal citizenship by investment programs now have visa-waivers in place with Russia – see which in the gallery below. Overall, Malta still has the most powerful passport in terms of landmass-access, even in the absence of a waiver with Russia; Maltese citizens can visit 52% of the world’s total area without a visa.
Hundreds of companies can assist with an application to the Antigua & Barbuda CIP. See which ones in the Residence and Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.
The Jordanian passport, meanwhile, ranks last among equals, as its holders still need a visa to see 90% of the world.
When we first began tracking landmass-access among CIP countries earlier this year, we pointed out that several jurisdictions could easily boost their ranking by focusing on the “low-hanging fruit”:
Saint Lucia, Vanuatu, and Moldova could make great leaps in its km2-power by simply adding Brazil to their rosters, a not unrealistic endeavor considering comparable countries like Saint Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, and Montenegro have already done so.
Montenegro should sign with Indonesia as soon as they can; it covers 1.2% of the world’s surface area and every other CBI-country (even Jordan) has visa-free access to it. Moldovans can go to Kazakhstan (2.7 million km2) without a visa; why can’t Montenegrins?
Note that Africa alone has 12 countries (counting Mauritania) with a square area of more than a million kilometers. Visa-waiver agreements don’t always have to be a two-way street, and what possible objection could the Algerians have to more visitors from Vanuatu?
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Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.