The First Passport to Offer Worldwide Visa-Free Travel

With visa-free access to 84% of the world, the Japanese passport is now the world’s most powerful. Could we soon see a time where some passports reach 100%?

The Japanese can visit no less than 190 out of 226 countries and territories, according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index, making their passport the world’s most mobile. Second and third on the same ranking, respectively, are the Singaporeans and South Koreans, together forming a historic all-Asian podium.

Recent developments in global travel-freedom – across the board – are nothing short of remarkable; the Index offers figures dating back to 2006 showing that, fewer than 13 years ago, even the very best passports could only offer 130 visa-free destinations, a number that wouldn’t even get you into the top 70 today.

In 2006, the average number of visa-free destinations among today’s top 20 passports was a mere 126.45. Today, none of those passports are below 185.

Is it so inconceivable to imagine that a handful of wealthy, peaceful countries will soon have visa-free access to all 226 countries and territories?

Japan has added 62 destinations to its roster since 2006. That’s about five a year. It only has 36 countries to go, the preponderance of which are in Africa.

In terms of visa-waiver agreements, there was a great deal of low-hanging fruit available in the last decade, and as countries inch closer to 100%, they will no doubt find an increasing challenge in making marginal gains in mobility. There will be outlier holdouts that steadfastly resist bilateral travel freedom; North Korea, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia spring to mind. We may well see decades where the top 30-40 countries enjoy access to all but a handful of hermit kingdoms, always approaching zero but never quite reaching it, like an asymptote.

But if global mobility improvement continues apace, we’ll see a passport with worldwide visa-free travel in less than a decade.


Greece Has Issued Nearly 1k Golden Visas a Month in 2018

Greece Has Issued Nearly 1k Golden Visas a Month in 2018, Will Eclipse EB-5 by Year-End

Enterprise Greece has released figures indicating that, by the end of September this year, the country had issued residence permits to 3,404 main applicants and 5,495 dependents under the golden visa program since the start of the year. That’s an average of 989 residence permits a month in 2018.

In September alone, 250 main applicants received approvals, an increase of 34% on the preceding month. Since 2013, 8,843 main applicants and 13,030 dependents have obtained a grand total of 21,873 golden visa residence permits.

Presuming the current trend remains stable for the remaining three months of the year, Greece will end up granting close to 12,000 individual residence permits under the golden visa program in 2018, surpassing the US EB-5 as the most applied-to residence by investment program in the world.

Read also: Greece to Dethrone EB-5 as World’s Biggest Golden Visa by Year-End

Receiving 1,700 golden visas in the first 9 months of 2018 – and 179 in September alone – Chinese nationals now make up fully half of all applicants, a proportion that’s increased steadily since last year.

With 450 and 356 main applicants so far this year, respectively, Russians and Turks accounted for 13 and 10 percent of golden visa recipients.

Athens has surpassed neighboring Piraeus (27%) as the top destination for investors, issuing 29% of the country’s golden visas, while authorities in Pallini issued 18%. The three counties, which together make up the Athens Metropolitan Region, account for 74% of all permits issued so far.

While the average main investor brings 1.6 family members, Iraqi program participants stand out by including nearly twice as many dependents in their applications.


The World’s Friendliest Countries Revealed

Have you ever lived abroad? Being an expat in a foreign country can be challenging – you can feel isolated and lonely, and sometimes your only friends are other people from your home country. It can be difficult to learn the local language and integrate. But some countries are more welcoming than others, making the possibility of building a new life there more feasible.

A 2018 survey from InterNations, the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad, has looked at data and comments supplied by almost 13,000 expats from 188 countries and territories to reveal which are the friendliest countries in the world to live.

Where do you think the USA ranked? This year, the annual survey has put it in 36th place out of 65, meaning it is less welcoming than countries such as Uganda (16th), Romania (19th), Indonesia (21st), Israel (24th) and Kazakhstan (28th). In 2016 the US was ranked 19th, meaning it has become less friendly. (The top ten friendliest countries are revealed below.)

Although about three in five expats in the US would describe the locals as welcoming (59%) and outgoing (64%), over one third (35%) struggle with making local friends. Just one-fifth (20%) say that their friends are mostly local residents.

A Ukrainian expat in the US told InterNations: “People are friendly on the outside, but in fact they do not care.” According to the findings, 17% of expats in the US say that they do not feel at home there yet and why another 9% doubt they ever will.

Meanwhile, the UK came far behind the US, in 56th place. Expats report that they find the British distant (42%) and reserved (58%) making it more difficult for them to make friends. A Portuguese national in the UK said “recently, I get the sense that foreigners are not as welcome as I thought before the referendum”. This person is referring to the decision to leave the European Union in a move that has been dubbed “Brexit”.

Certainly not among the top ten but fairing better than the US was Ireland, in 30th place. Four years ago, Ireland was in 23rd place and the UK was in 19th, so friendliness has definitely gone down, however. One Italian expat said they valued the “genuine friendliness” of the Irish, while a Swedish expat said the Irish are “sociable, friendly people who know how to have a laugh and enjoy themselves”.

Describing their social circles, 22% of foreign workers in Ireland said they are mainly friends with other expats, while another 37%, however, are mostly friends with local residents. In the UK, only 20% of expats are mainly friends with locals, while 32% are predominantly friends with other expats.

Seven in ten expats said they feel at home in Ireland. With the US built on immigrants from countries such as Ireland, it’s worth thinking about how friendly people are to foreigners today.

The Top Ten Friendliest Countries In The World

10. Canada

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 81%
  • Ease of making local friends: 43%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 45%

9. Vietnam

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 83%
  • Ease of making local friends: 56%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 16%

8. Colombia

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 87%
  • Ease of making local friends: 62%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 33%

7. Oman

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 86%
  • Ease of making local friends: 60%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 12%

6. Costa Rica

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 87%
  • Ease of making local friends: 78%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 48%

5. Bahrain

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 86%
  • Ease of making local friends: 55%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 11%

4. Cambodia

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 92%
  • Ease of making local friends: 59%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 23%

3. Mexico

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 87%
  • Ease of making local friends: 73%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 39%

2. Taiwan

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 86%
  • Ease of making local friends: 61%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 30%

1. Portugal

  • Friendly attitude towards expats: 94%
  • Ease of making local friends: 58%
  • Expats likely to stay forever: 47%

Climbing nine places since 2016, Portugal claims the title of the most welcoming country for expats. One Australian expat said: “The local population is friendly and helpful,” while a Dutch expat said “people look after each other” here. Almost four in five expats (79%) describe the Portuguese as welcoming, and about three in ten (29%) state that locals make up most of their social circles (vs 19% globally).

Where is the least friendly place to live as an expat?

The answer is Kuwait. One Indian expat told InterNations: There is an “increasing anti-expat sentiment from locals”. Close to half the expats living there (46%) rate the attitude of the local population towards foreign residents negatively, which is nearly three times the global average (16%).

You can explore the full listing of countries here.

Jenny Southan is a multi award-winning journalist. She spent ten years as features editor of Business Traveller magazine in the UK, and is editor of founder of travel trend-forecasting website Globetrender. As a freelance writer she contributes to Mr Porter, The Telegraph, T…



Portugal is the best country in Europe for immigrants

Portugal jumped from 28th to 5th place in a list of the best countries in the world for immigrants. Located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is also in the best position on the rank in comparison to the other European countries. And it offers the best Quality of life in the world. All this information come from on a study launched this month by INTERNATIONS, an international community for expatriates and immigrants.

The study and the destinations

This study is part of the 2017 edition of the fourth annual Expat Insider ranking by INTERNATIONS, a worldwide survey of expatriate life. The survey involved 12,500 people from 166 different nationalities living in 188 different countries or territories. And the list has 65 seats and among more than 40 criteria to reach the final results about the satisfaction with work and safety. The cost of living and the conditions for family life are also considered in the analysis.

The top destinations on the list for expatriates and immigrants were: 1st Bahrain, 2nd Costa Rica, 3rd Mexico, 4th Taiwan, and 5th Portugal. In addition to the fifth place on the general list, the survey placed Portugal at the top of the world in the sub-category of Quality of life, with good results in Safety and Hospitality too. As the INTERNATIONS affirmed: Portugal is the recommended country for those who want to “live the good life”. At the bottom of the list (of the 65 countries) are Greece, Kuwait, and Nigeria. Among the countries that felt more in the index, compared to last year, are Poland, Australia, and Ukraine. Check the full list below:

The study and the destinations

In the chapter dedicated to Portugal, suggestively titled “Living a good life in Portugal”, INTERNATIONS notes that the country has risen an “impressive 23 places” in the ranking and stresses that, in the sub-index of “Quality of life”. In this criterion, Portugal is the first, followed by Taiwan and Spain.

The study revealed that 93% of the participants of the study are satisfied with life in Portugal and 29% say that they are “very happy” that they have come to live in Portugal. And in the sub-index of “Personal happiness”, the numbers had dropped in 2016 but rose again in 2017, to third place worldwide. Also, in the category of “Easy to adapt” Portugal got the fourth place. Finally, people that participated in the survey are also more confident about political stability and the crucial issue of security. One-third of the participants rated this rubric as “very good.”.

Want to invest and move to Portugal?

If you are willing to “live the good life” and invest in a successful project, here comes the good news. You may apply for the Portugal Golden Visa Investment Program. The Portugal Golden Visa Investment Program is currently one of the most popular programs to immigrate to Europe due to its flexibility and various benefits. You can find below more information about the benefits and requirements of the program. Also, if you want to know more about the Portugal Golden Visa, you can check for the frequently asked questions on MERCAN’s portal for the program.

The right project for you

To participate in the Portugal Golden Visa Investment Program, it is fundamental to find the right project to invest first. The Sé Catedral Hotel project is a rehabilitation of a building in the city center of Porto, one the most important cities of Portugal. And Sé Catedral Hotel is certainly a very good investment.
The hotel will have 50 decorated and equipped rooms, restaurant and meeting room, outdoor patio. The project costs 13.3 million EUR and is qualified for government incentives (IMT exemption and IMI exemption for 5 years). The expectation is that the construction begins in March 2018 and last 12 to 18 months. The building is in a very strategic and touristic area of the city, close to sightsees (The Sé Cathedral, Louis Bridge, Church Francis and the Clerigos Tower), to a metro station (São Bento) and is just 20 minutes away from the international airport.

The Sé Catedral Hotel project will have 38 investors that will be the co-owners of the entire property.

including the condo areas, restaurant, and rooms. Each investor will receive an Ownership Certificate. And there is a 100% guarantee on the return of the investment with an expected annual return (ROI) of 4% rental guarantee* (*ROI may change due to different assets/projects). Please, notice that this 38 fractions/portions can be sold individually at any time. Also, the investor gets 7 days of free staying per year, which is definitively good once the investor decides to apply for Permanent Residency or European Citizenship.

Benefits and requirements

As an investor, applying for Portugal Golden Visa is a safe choice that will concede you lots of benefits with very few requirements.


– Simple process of application and quick processing time to receive residence permits
– Various and low choices for investment, only 350,000EUR++
– No strict requirement on Source of Funds
– Refund 100% of investment after 5 years or flexible schedule of refund based on the desire of Investors
– High return based on an annual rental guarantee of 4%* (*ROI may change due to different assets/projects).
–  After the 5th year, the Investor can apply easily for permanent residency
– And after the 6th year, the Investor can apply easily for Portugal/EU citizenship– Right to live, do business, study in Portugal and/or EU under certain conditions
– Travel freely within the Schengen countries
– Portugal doesn’t charge tax on worldwide income


– Investment period for at least 5 years or until the time the investor can get the Permanent Residence card
– Comply with the minimum time of staying in Portugal (1st year: 7 days; 2nd and 3rd year: 14 days; 4th and 5th year: 14 days)– No requirement on management experience, age (just must be 18 years or older), language or education credentials
– Candidate must comply with the Health Insurance Policy

The time of your life in Portugal

Do you want to change and have the time of your in Portugal with all the benefits of the Golden Visa? Are you ready to make this unique investment and be able to immigrate with your family? Because if you are, Mercadia Investment Consulting Co.,Lld, can help you.

Through decades of experience in immigration, investment and recruitment consulting, Mercadia has built a respectable position in the market. Mercadia has the expertise to guide you through your application process, giving all the preparation needed. Mercadia will be there for you during the whole process. And we would gladly represent you.


Portugal is one of the world’s peaceful countries in the World

The Global Peace Index (GPI) covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, following by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark.

EUROPE-27: 23 countries are ranked top peaceful countries in the world

Europe is still the most peaceful geographic region in the world according to the GPI, claiming eight out of the top 11 places from this zone, and currently with 27 member states not counting England), there are 23 EU member states are ranked top peaceful countries in the world.

Portugal even higher ranked than Canada (8 th ) and Switzerland (9 th ), while United States is
ranked 114 th

Currently, Portugal government has a program called “Golden Residence Permit Program/ARI”,
that enable third country nationals to obtain a residence permits for themselves and their family
members buy investing into Portugal.

Advantages of the Golden Visa program are:

  • Get EU residence cards within 6 months only
  • Visa- free travel to Schengen are ( 26 countries)
  • Live, study and work in EU
  • Free education for kids
  • No worldwide income tax
  • Apply for EU citizenship after 6 years, free-visa to 155 countries in the world

Golden Visa program will give you the chance to be global citizen right away!

Learn more about the program:
Check our project: estate-project/

Or contact our team to get a comprehensive consultation through

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+ 855 85 565 251 / Email: