NEW DELHI, Jan 11: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain jointly hold the top spot of having the world’s most powerful passport being allowed visa-free entry to 194 global destinations, according to the latest Henley Passport Index. The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
For the past five years, Japan and Singapore have consistently dominated the No. 1 spot. However, this quarter’s ranking showcases European nations jumping up the ranks. Finland and Sweden tied with South Korea in second place, offering visa-free access to 193 destinations. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands secure the third position, providing passport holders access to 192 destinations.
India’s passport ranked 80th spot in the list sharing the rank with Uzbekistan with their citizens allowed to travel to 62 countries. Among the countries Indian passport holders are allowed visa-free entry included popular tourist destinations like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. India’s neighbour Pakistan hold the 101st spot.
Christian H Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index highlighted the widening global mobility gap between countries. Despite an overall trend toward increased travel freedom over the past two decades, the disparity between the top and bottom of the index has reached an all-time high.
Mr Kaelin said, “The average number of destinations travellers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.” He emphasized that the top-ranked countries now enjoy the privilege of traveling to an astonishing 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which occupies the bottom spot on the list, with access to just 28 countries without a visa. Syria, with visa-free access to only 29 destinations, holds the second-lowest position, followed by Iraq with 31 and Pakistan with 34.