Important factors to consider in residence planning
Global Launch of the First Edition of The Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index
A new index unveiled in Zurich today (2 June 2016) is the first to ever objectively rank the quality of nationalities worldwide. The Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) explores both internal factors (such as the scale of the economy, human development, and peace and stability) and external factors (including visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad without cumbersome formalities) that make one nationality better than another in terms of legal status in which to develop your talents and business.
The QNI consistently ranks the German nationality the highest in the world over the last five years with a score of 83.1%. The nationality of the Democratic Republic of Congo sits at the bottom of the index on 14.3%.
Professor Dr Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional law professor with a long-standing interest in European and comparative citizenship law, says the key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities – as opposed to, simply, countries. “Everyone has a nationality of one or more states. States differ to a great degree – Russia is huge – Swaziland is small; Luxembourg is rich – Mongolia is less so. Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too. Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality. Nationality plays a significant part in determining our opportunities and aspirations, and the QNI allows us, for the first time, to analyse this objectively.”
A unique measurement tool
The QNI is not a perception index. It uses an array of objective sources to gauge the opportunities and limitations that each nationality gives its owners. Data from the World Bank, the International Air Transport Association, the Institute for Economics and Peace and our own research blends into this unique, objective and transparent measurement tool that divides the nationalities of the world into four tiers based on quality, from Very High to Low, giving a clear picture of the standing of each nationality at a glance. Christian H. Kälin, a leading specialist on international immigration and citizenship law and policy, and Chairman of Henley & Partners, says the QNI is relevant to both individuals interested in the mobility, the possibilities and the limitations of their nationality, and governments focused on improving the local, regional and global opportunities inherent in their passports.
Kälin states: “What makes the QNI so unique is that for the first time ever, we have combined the internal and external values of each nationality to create a true perspective of our globalized world. It is clearly better to have a nationality of a country with long life expectancy, good schooling and high prosperity – like Australia – than of a country which offers lower levels of security, schooling and healthcare to its nationals – like Ukraine.” This is what the QNI shows, and Kälin adds: “It is better to have a nationality with the rights to work and reside in several countries, like the Netherlands, with work and residence rights throughout the EU, rather than, say, Japan, which, although equally prosperous, does not offer its nationals any rights at all outside their own borders. It is also better to have a nationality of a peaceful and stable country, like Denmark, rather than of a country with security risks, like Venezuela.”
What is measured and how?
To calculate the internal value of each nationality, which comprises 40% of the score, the QNI takes into account three sub-elements:
The external value of nationality accounts for 60% of the ranking score. “The more you are restrained by national borders, the less the value of your nationality; the less noticeable the borders, the higher the value. While many opt for a life at home, an increasing number of people want to build a new life somewhere else or live their lives transnationally”, explains Kälin. There are four sub-elements:
Kochenov adds that it’s the first time that the diversity of settlement freedom provided by a nationality has been quantified and measured. “As no analogous source exists on global settlement freedom, the QNI provides the first and only such source worldwide. We gathered data through extensive research as well as consultation with countless experts on the legal requirements of settlement throughout the world, using IATA data as the starting point. For instance, the Liechtenstein nationality, although conferred by a tiny country, gives its bearers full access to all of the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland, a total of 31 countries, enjoying all the key rights which the bearers of the local nationalities enjoy. Compare this with Canadian nationality – which is associated with no such extra-territorial rights at all - and the difference becomes clear,” explains Kochenov.
“When assessing the external value of nationalities, it is important to take into account both diversity and weight. Diversity refers to the sheer number of countries accessible visa-free, while weight accounts for the quality of such countries. This allows the QNI to escape the simplifications of other indexes, valuing visa-free travel to the US as equal to visa-free access to Kiribati. While being able to travel to Kiribati is great, the empowering potential of accessing the US is infinitely higher,” says Kochenov.
Regional and Country Results
Kälin says The Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, now covering the five years between 2011 and 2015, will be updated annually to ensure a current picture of the quality of world nationalities is readily available at any moment in time, illuminating medium to long-term trends in nationalities’ development. He adds: “The QNI is a vital resource for financially independent individuals who wish to acquire the benefits of dual citizenship, as it provides assistance in selecting the most valuable second nationality for themselves and their families.”