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Asia Minute: Asian passports packing power in 2022

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It’s a busy travel summer in many parts of the country, and that includes Hawaiʻi. While most visitors here are coming from the West and East coasts of the United States, there’s some news this week about international travel.

How strong is your passport?

There’s a ranking that comes out at least once a year that makes that determination — based on the number of countries it allows you to visit without getting a special visa.

And at the top of the list are three Asian countries.

A Japanese passport can get you into 193 countries visa-free, while Singapore and South Korea will allow you to go to 192 without a visa.

A number of European countries help round out the top 10 — along with the United States at number seven, and Australia close behind.

That blue U.S. passport will get you into 186 destinations without a visa.

Among those who track these developments in passport power is a London-based consultancy that puts the calculations together in the Henley Passport Index.

Henley’s usual business specializes in what’s formally known as “investment migration.”

That's basically buying citizenship or dual citizenship in countries with a hefty business investment.

At the bottom end of the scale, Afghanistan ranks dead last — with visa-free entry to 27 countries.

It might be a surprise that a North Korean passport will get you into 40.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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