Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Being a British citizen, I feel as though we are never really made aware of how many benefits are attached to having a 'red passport' (as they call it). It's obviously seen as a very normal thing in the UK, but outside of that I've heard that people lie, steal and kill to get their hands on a British passport of their own. It is viewed as a GOLDEN ticket to a better life.
It wasn't until I really started travelling and getting to know people from different parts of the world, that I understood just how grateful I should be for my little red book. I somehow always took it for granted until I learned of the stories of people who have suffered greatly due to the type of passport that they have.
This blog post will highlight some of the key advantages of having a British Passport, that no one ever really mentions until you're in the travel world. The British passport is surely one of the most powerful passports on the planet and after learning more about others stories, I have made a conscious effort to cherish, appreciate and utilise mine more. Hopefully, this can help you do the same too!
1. TRAVEL VISA-FREE
The British passport allows you to travel to a whopping 174 countries without a visa.
45 countires provide a visa or e-visa to British citizens upon arrival.
Only 35 countries require a UK passport-holder to apply for a visa before-hand.
Applying for a visa is extremely stressful to be honest, because there is a chance that you could be rejected for whatever reason if all your paperwork isn't together. Not to mention the cost involved of obtaining a visa. I recently paid over £250 for a visa to go to Nigeria because my Nigerian passport had expired and I wouldn't wish the inconvenience of this on my worst enemy.
Imagine having to go through this process every single time you wanted to travel? Some people in other countries actually don't have a choice, which is upsetting to see. So, British passport-holders should be very grateful!
2. UNLIMITED STAY IN EUROPE
The British passport allows all UK citizens to have unlimited stay in any European country. Whereas with passports from Australia or The United States of America, you would be limited to only 90 days stay, before having to exit and re-enter to qualify for another 90 days.
This is very beneficial to British citizens since there are 44 countries in Europe, so they can practically choose to settle anywhere within these countries. However, with Brexit approaching in October 2019 this freedom of movement could be adversely affected. Read more here
3. WORK ANYWHERE IN EUROPE
I think around the globe everybody knows that Europe is one the best places in the world to work due to the strong currency. Despite the irritating pay deductions in Europe, most people from around the world would still jump at the chance of working in this area, since the money earned translates into some really cool cash when they send it back to their home country to assist family or invest.
This is also really beneficial for anyone who lives in the UK that would want to relocate to another country within Europe to experience the life out there. It's all done pretty much hassle-free at the moment. However, again Brexit could impact this from October 2019.
4. JOB EXCLUSIVITY
Some jobs are reserved specifically for UK citizens in other countries. So, you must hold a British Passport to meet the eligibility criteria. This automatically excludes everyone that doesn't have a British passport from competing for the position.
5. FAVORABLE PAY
If you ever decide to move out of the UK and start working elsewhere or as millenials say, 'become an expat', then the chances are you'll be earning a lot more than your colleagues who are doing the same job, but don't have a British passport. This is true for many countries who favor UK citizens and respect the passport. I mean, how crazy is that?
I've spoken to people who only hold passports from third-world countries and they have said that not only is it difficult to find jobs with this passport, but it's also difficult to receive a decent and respectable pay, which is why the UK passport is so highly sought-after.
6. *UNRESTRICTED ENTRY TO THE UK*
This is quite an obvious one, but still a very important benefit. The UK, particularly London is deemed one of the most prestigious destinations in the world believe it or not. It may not feel like it to those who have lived in London or the UK all their lives, but being able to say that you've "traveled to the UK" is a serious bragging right in other parts of the world.
This is simply because the UK is seen as where all the people who have 'made it' travel to (if only they knew lol). But nevertheless, you are definitely viewed as superior in some countries and cultures for having unlimited, unrestricted access to the UK.
Tip: Be very mindful of this when getting to know the opposite sex from different parts of the world, some people can be quite desperate to receive a stay in the UK and will go to any lengths to lure you in and trap you (by having a baby or trying to marry you per say) to gain citizenship!
Sometimes, it can be genuine but other times it's just a whole heap of lies and deceit. STAY WOKE.
7. FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
In over 170 countries worldwide, there are approximately 270 British embassies and consulates. In theory, this means that you are pretty much very safe in the majority of countries that you visit in the world. So, in the event of a war, massacre or natural disaster while on your travels (God forbid), then technically, the British embassy would be responsible for your safety (Look at the Madeleine McCann case for example).
The embassies also come in handy in the event of a lost passport abroad. In which case, they will ensure that you are sent back to the UK safely. While other developed countries have similar security systems, unfortunately poorer countries with fewer resources do not have the same levels of security and care when things go wrong abroad which I think is unethical to be honest.