Most passports are affordable, The affordability factor for each country is key to the study. A dollar in North America may not be the same as one in central Africa. To determine the affordability of the passport, the average hourly wage was used to calculate the cost of the passport in hours worked.
The top of the list is Malawi, whose $118 passport would take over 983 hours to purchase. Passports to the world can be purchased in different countries depending on where you live, but they allow you to travel anywhere in the world. Not all passports are created equal. First, passports can be more costly than others. Some cost hundreds of hours for a worker in a country, while others take only a few minutes. The passports may not be able to grant access to all countries, or to most of the world.
CashNetUSA compiled a list of the best and most expensive passports around the globe, taking into account average local wages and the most current passport pricing information.
Expensive Passports A passport costs an average of $74 across the world, but it takes 46.6 hours to earn that amount. The average American worker takes 4.6 hours to get a passport. It costs $145 to get a United States passport. Although the average cost of a North American passport is quite high, it is not impossible to get one in a country within the continent.
Syrian passports cost approximately $800 per passport, making them the most expensive. The report by CashNetUSA states that economic and political difficulties have led to an increase in the cost of passports, which were $9 more than a decade ago.
Travel costs for ordinary Syrian citizens have risen due to corruption, the destruction of border crossings, and the western fear of refugees. The most expensive passports are also from Malawi. They cost $118 and take an average worker 983.3 hours to purchase. This is a sign of huge economic inequality. The Congo, Antigua & Barbuda, and Burundi are also among the least affordable. Millions of people around the globe are limited by local wage levels, which affect their ability to travel out of the country.
For example, similar-priced passports from Australia and Moldova, priced at $226 and $114 respectively, have an 80-hour difference in earning ability. While the Australian passport takes 8.7 hours to earn a wage, Moldova's takes 90.4.
Cheapest Passports, However, the cheapest passports are those issued by Madagascar, which can be obtained for free but only allow access to fifty-five other countries. The South Korean passport is one of the most affordable passports and allows you to travel to an incredible 189 countries. It costs only $32 and takes approximately 1.6 hours to obtain.
Madagascar is the most affordable and cheapest country to get a passport. Armenia's two-dollar passport is the next most affordable. The 18th-most expensive passport in the world is the $145 US passport.
METHODOLOGY & RESOURCES
To determine the cost of passports in each country, we need to review official documents, websites, and other sources. All foreign currencies were converted to US dollars at the market exchange rate as of January 2021. Some of the passports have the shortest number of pages and the earliest expiration date for countries that offer passports with different lengths and expiration dates.
If we divide the cost of each passport by each country's average hourly wage then we can determine its affordability. This gives us an estimate of how many hours a citizen would have to work in order to afford a passport. The OECD, International Labour Organization, Numbeo, and Salary Explorer provided data on the average wage.