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  1. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    Passports

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    Interesting article here...

    The world's most powerful passports 2018: New country takes top spot


    Japan has knocked Singapore off top spot on the list of the world's most powerful passport, according to new research, while Australia remains sixth on the table.

    The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa. Japanese citizens can travel to a record 189 out of a possible 218, most recently Uzbekistan, while Germans can visit 188 and Australians 183.

    The latest research highlights the growth of visa-free travel in Asia, thanks to up to 40 visa-waiver agreements signed by governments since the beginning of the year.

    "While Schengen Area countries have traditionally topped the index as a result of their open access to Europe, developed Asian nations have been able to secure equally high scores in recent years thanks to their strong international trade and diplomatic relations," the report says.

    The UAE, in 23rd, is the fastest climber, ascending 38 places since 2008 after securing more visa exemptions for its citizens in 2018 than any other country in the world.

    The UK topped the 2015 rankings, alongside Germany, but ceded that spot after several countries relaxed travel restrictions to the latter. It was leapfrogged by Sweden in 2016, and then Denmark, Finland, Italy and Spain in 2017, but now sits in fourth alongside Norway, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal.

    Afghanistan and Iraq prop up the table. Their passport holders can only enter 30 countries without a visa, just behind Syria and Somalia, who each have just 32 accessible countries on their list.

    Overall, 143 countries saw the power of their passport improve over the course of 2017, while seven countries saw visa-free access reduced.

    Among the biggest climbers for the first quarter of 2018 were Georgia (111 visa-free countries, up from 99), Ukraine (128, up from 114), China (70, up from 60), and Indonesia (71, up from 63).

    The Chinese are travelling in record numbers, bringing with them spending money and greatly boosting local economies, so it's not surprising that more countries making it easier for them to visit.

    "As the world economy has become increasingly globalised, the need for greater visa-free access has grown steadily," said the report. "Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale."

    The impact of Brexit on the UK's ranking remains to be seen. It seems likely that travel to and from EU countries won't be hindered, but will trips further afield come with more red tape?

    "We have witnessed several major events recently that are likely to have an impact on global mobility – including Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump," said Dr Christian H. Kälin, chairman of Henley & Partners. "Both can be interpreted as steps toward restricting movement and creating barriers to entry."

    Despite this, most of the top-ranking countries have seen significant increases in the number of visa-free destinations their citizen can visit in recent years. In early 2017, Singapore topped the table with a ranking of just 159 compared to 188 now. Australia's ranking has climbed from 153 to 183.
    Do you have a passport? More than one?

    If you have more than one, which do you travel on more?


    I've got two - Argentine by birth, Australian by naturalisation. I switch paperwork depending on where I'm going (any travel in South America is a lot easier when they see an Argentine than an Australian...and should I ever wish to go to Russia, that would work out well too) but I would estimate maybe a 65-35 split in favour of the Australian one.

    Husband has a different two, as he can switch between Australia and New Zealand. God knows what the kids will decide to do with a choice of three!
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
  2. Team Rocket
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    I only have a USA passport, my family has been here 14 generations so no chance of being anything else! One of my coworkers has 3 though - US, Mexico, and Japan (She's half Japanese, half Mexican, but a US citizen)
    WiggleWiggle~ is my Wifey
  3. we were all rooting for you
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    I have a US and UK passport as well as the Global Entry program. I used to base my passport selection on whatever line is shortest but now with Global Entry I get pre-check leaving the country and coming back into the states, I'm through within 3 minutes thanks to the computers/skipping the customs line, so I usually use my USA one for the Global Entry benefits alone.
    Last edited by KittenMittens; 06-01-2018 at 07:11 AM.
  4. Senior Member
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    Just US, although I have the tourist version and the no-fee official travel version.

    Plan to get Global Entry as soon as we are in the US long enough to set up the interview.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  5. we were all rooting for you
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Just US, although I have the tourist version and the no-fee official travel version.

    Plan to get Global Entry as soon as we are in the US long enough to set up the interview.
    It's sooo worth it! If you are just waiting on the interview portion (and have already paid/done everything else online) and happen to fly in or out of any airport with an enrollment office, you can drop in to see if they have availability for the interview early! It only takes about 5 minutes and usually they're pretty cool about it!

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