France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain hold the world’s most powerful passports.

These passports allow visa-free entry to 194 global destinations, placing them at the top slot on the latest Henley Passport Index.

Following closely are Finland, Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden, which offer visa-free access to 193 nations.

India’s Passport Position:

India ranks 85th on the index, with visa-free access to 62 nations.

Notably, India has slipped one rank compared to last year’s position of 84th.

Despite the slip, Indian passport holders can visit popular tourist destinations like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand without a visa.

Comparison with Neighboring Countries:

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India ranks behind South Africa (55th), Maldives (58th), Saudi Arabia (63rd), China (64th), Thailand (66th), Indonesia (69th), and Uzbekistan (84th).

Neighboring nations like Pakistan rank 106th, Sri Lanka 101st, Bangladesh 102nd, and Nepal 103rd.

UK and European Nations:

The United Kingdom shares the third position on the index with Luxembourg, Ireland, Denmark, and Austria, offering visa-free access to 192 nations.

Belgium, Norway, and Portugal follow closely in fourth place, with visa-free access to 191 nations.

Top 5 Passport Holders:

Australia, Greece, Malta, New Zealand, and Switzerland complete the top 5, with visa-free access to 190 countries.

Significance of Passport Ranking:

Passport rankings reflect a country’s global mobility strength and serve as a metric for assessing its soft power.

The Henley Passport Index, compiled over 19 years, uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to evaluate 199 passports and 227 travel destinations worldwide.

Global Mobility Trends:

Over the past two decades, global mobility has significantly increased, with the number of visa-free travel destinations nearly doubling from 58 countries in 2006 to 111 countries in 2024.

Geopolitical Impact:

Changes in passport rankings reflect geopolitical dynamics, with countries like China and the United States experiencing shifts influenced by economic and political factors.

Despite ongoing debates and challenges, such as anti-immigration stances, countries like the US have seen improvements in passport rankings.

Henley Passport Index Insights:

The index serves as a reference tool for citizens and sovereign states to assess global mobility rankings, providing monthly updates based on exclusive IATA data.

It highlights fluctuations in passport strengths and reveals trends in international travel over time, offering valuable insights for policymakers and travellers alike.

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