Citizenship and the freedom of travel from and travel to other countries

A recent post by Eric on the Isaac Brock Society site began with:

Salman Nouman (Twitter: @ImFilmmaker), a U.S. citizen based in Dubai, recently tried to apply for a student visa to attend film school in Bollywood, only to find that the Indian government does not permit naturalised U.S. citizens of Pakistani origin to apply for Indian visas on their U.S. passports. In an Outlook India article about his experience, he mentions the reaction of the U.S. government when he asked them for help dealing with his problem:

The law firm of Henley and Partners notes that:

In today’s globalized world, visa restrictions play an important role in controlling the movement of foreign nationals across borders. Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-nationals who wish to enter their territory. Visa requirements are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations, and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community of nations.

When it comes to international mobility citizenship matters!

There are two kinds of international mobility – coming and going – both are addressed in S. 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mobility of citizens

(1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

1. Traveling from countries – being able to leave

Many countries have imposed restrictions on people’s ability to leave their country. It would be interesting for Henley to do a study on which countries are the easiest to leave from.

To put it simply: It is getting harder and harder to leave the United States. The borders are slowly being closed to the outward flow of people and capital.

2. Traveling to other countries – being able to enter

A recent article in the New York Times reported that:

NEW DELHI— A global index that ranks countries based on freedom of travel for their citizens has ranked India among the bottom few with its South Asian neighbors like Afghanistan and Pakistan. India’s citizens have visa-free access to only 52 countries, with India ranking  in 74th place, along with Uzbekistan.

Finland, Sweden and Great Britain, whose citizens have visa-free access to a maximum of 173 out of 218 countries, occupy the top three positions in the index. The bottom four countries in the index are Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, in that order. Afghans face the ignominy of being able to travel to only 28 countries without a visa.

It is relatively easy for U.S. citizens to travel to other countries. Once the those other countries understand the rules of citizenship-based taxation, it is unlikely they will be allowed to stay.

Possible conclusion:

This is the first example I have seen where it might be better to be a U.S. citizen outside of the United States than inside the United States. Although it is becoming harder and harder for people to leave the U.S., it is relatively easy to enter other countries on a U.S. passport.

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