The Quality of Nationality Index

For many people around the world the citizenship they hold is solely the one they obtained through birthright. Citizenship comes with opportunities, and unfortunately some country’s provide their citizens with substantially better opportunities than others. So how do you measure the quality of citizenship? Until recently it has been very difficult to quantify, but in 2011 the creation of The Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), provided a may to measure and rank the quality of worldwide nationalities.

The quantification of the value of a nationality is important because in today’s age people are not stuck spending their life where they were born. We live in a mobile society where there are many opportunities for migration and relocation. The QNI is a valuable tool in the assessment of choosing a place of secondary citizenship and/or residence. Not happy with the ranking of where you live? Well, then by migrating to a country with a high QNI you can gain more rights to travel, and live a higher quality of life. Fortunately, nowadays birthright alone does not dictate the quality of a country you can call home.

About the Quality of Nationality Index

The Quality of Nationality Index provides a quantitative measure on the inherent value of citizenship, ranking nationalities on a scale of 0% to 100%. The measure weights internal factors and external factors. It gives a 40% weighting to internal factors and a 60% weighting to external factors.

Internal Factors

In assessing the internal factors that influence the quality of a nationality, the QNI looks at human development, economic prosperity, peace and stability. To measure human development the QNI uses the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index. For economic strength the QNI utilizes the International Monetary Fund’s measure of a country’s share of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the World Bank’s assessment of Purchasing Power Parity. Peace and stability is assessed using data from the annual Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

External Factors

In assessing the external factors that enhance the value of citizenship, the Quality of Nationality Index looks at the opportunities present in being a passport holder of one country to live, work and visit other countries without going through a lot of red tape. This part of the measure is a little more subjective. While real measurements from external sources are used in assessing the internal factors of the QNI there are not readily available measures for the external factors assessed in the QNI. The QNI provides the first and only source.

The external factors measured include the diversity of settlement freedom, the diversity of travel freedom and the weight of travel freedom. Settlement is considered possible when an adult national is allowed to work and stay in another country for at least 360 days without having to obtain a visa or with a visa on arrival. Diversity of travel freedom is measured using the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, which assesses the number of destinations that nationals of countries can have short-term tourist or business access to without having to obtain a visa. Weight of travel freedom is composed of the sum of countries’ weighted scores on human development and economic strength; it is a measure of the quality of the countries that can be visited either visa-free of with a visa on arrival. For example, having the ability to visit and work in Germany visa free would be more useful than having the same rights to Uganda.

Quality Tiers for Nationalities

The QNI uses the numerical ranking obtained by assessing the above factors and breaks worldwide nationalities into four tiers: very high quality, nationalities with a value of 50.0% and above; high quality, nationalities with a value of between 35.0% and 49.9%; medium quality, nationalities with a value of between 20.0% and 34.9%; and low quality for nationalities with a value of 19.9% or less.

Changes to the Quality of Nationality Index

The QNI is not a stagnant measure, it is constantly reassessed and as a result countries could seen the rankings of their countries change. There is a real possibility for a major change impacting the UK nationality the next time the QNI is updated in order to reflect the implications of Brexit. As the UK decouples itself from the European Union there could be changes to both the internal and external factors assessed in the QNI, and as a result the UK’s QNI could decrease. Note that the UK is currently ranked #11.

With the possibility for a big drop in the QNI rating of the UK, some Britons who would like to retire for instance at the Côte d’Azur, in Spain or Portugal would need to apply for a resident permit. For some it is worth considering citizenship in another EU country, in order to maintain their benefits. For a country with a high QNI ranking, the best bet is Germany. Germany is ranked #1 on the QNI and has maintained that top ranking since 2011.

A Good Solution: A Residence Permit in Germany

With the Germany passport carrying such a high Quality of Nationality Index ranking, for a consistent period, it is a very desirable passport. Residency through investment can also open the path to citizenship. In the case of Germany, after holding residency for at least 8 years it is possible to apply to become a citizen. At Citizen Lane Germany is one of the many countries that we are experts on the immigration through investment process and we can advise you on immigration options to Germany. Through a definitive process those who invest in and own a business that will have a positive impact on the Germany economy have a path to a residence permit in Germany, and German citizenship.


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