The latest Henley Passport Index 2019 ranks the Indian passport on the 86th position with a mobility score of 58. The score points out that Indian passport holders can access 58 countries around the world without a prior visa.
The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations — including micro-states and territories.
India shares the 86th position with Mauritiana and Sao Tome and Principe.
Asian countries dominate the rankings with Japan and Singapore holding onto the top spot with a score of 189 after they unseated Germany from its first position at the beginning of 2018.
Falling from the first place spot it shared with Japan and Singapore last quarter, South Korea now sits in second place on the index along with Finland and Germany, with citizens of all three countries having access 187 destinations around the world without a prior visa.
Commenting on these developments, Dr Christian H Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index concept, said in an official release, “With a few notable exceptions, the latest rankings from the Henley Passport Index show that countries around the world increasingly view visa openness as crucial to economic and social progress.
Discussions of passport power and global mobility tend to focus on the benefits for the countries with the strongest passports. However, this latest unique research appears to confirm something that many of us already knew intuitively: that increased visa-openness benefits the entire global community, and not just the strongest countries.”
India’s rank has improved from the earlier position of 79th in January 2019.
According to the official statement, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 183, the UK and the US now share the sixth place – the lowest position either country has held since 2010, and a significant drop from their first place spot in 2014. They share the position with Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, and Norway.
Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg are on the third rank. France has dropped to the fourth spot, now sharing the position with Spain and Sweden.
For the first time, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has entered the top 20 slots with a “record-breaking 41 places over the past decade”.
Other climbers include Taiwan on 38th position – climbing 24 places over the past ten years, Serbia at a 41st place – climbing 24 places in the past decade.
Afghanistan at 109th is last on the list with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of just 25.A
The results are part of citizenship planning firm Henley and Partners’ annual passport index, which ranks passports based on the number of countries a holder can go to without a visa or the number of countries a holder can go to where they can obtain a visa, visitor’s permit, or electronic travel authority upon arrival.
The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.
The Correspondent Bureau with inputs from agencies