Malta’s passport is often held up by the Government as being one of the most valuable in the world.

But according to a new global index by UK- and-Portugal-based immigration consultancy Global Citizens Solutions, it might not be all that impressive.

In fact, Malta only ranks 38th out of 199 countries in the new index, behind several other EU countries. For context, it ranked seventh out of 199 in 2021 in the highly cited passport index of Henley & Partners, which describes itself as a global leader in residency and citizenship by investment.

The GCS index rates passports not only on how many countries their holders can visit either without a visa or a visa on arrival, but also on quality of life and investment opportunities. Data is gleaned from organisations such as the World Bank, World Economic Forum and Sustainable Development Forum.

The travel benefits a passport confers on its holder is given the most weight (50 per cent), while quality of life and investment opportunities each contribute 25 per cent to the total score.

When it comes to the ‘Markets and Innovations’ section, which is calculated using six selected pillars from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, Malta ranks as ‘less favourable’.

Meanwhile, the index highlights Malta’s “very high” cost of living, as well as its “low” acceptance of migrants, less-than-ideal conditions for a country so dependent on foreign workers.

On a more positive note, the index does acknowledge that people in Malta tend to be happy, while some eyebrows might be raised at the country’s top marks for Environmental Performance and Sustainable Development, both of which are rated as “very high.”

Malta’s rating is a disappointing one when compared to how it performs in the Henley Passport Index, in which it is ranked seventh globally in 2021.

Henley was previously the concessionaire of Malta’s original Individual Investor Programme (IIP), or as it is also known, the cash-for-passports scheme.

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