Japan continues to be the world’s most powerful passport for a third straight year, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a whopping 191 countries, according to Passport Index 2020 released by global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley and Partners. The same index places India at the 84th spot with its passport providing visa-free/visa-on-arrival entry to 58 destinations worldwide.
The Henley Passport Index ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information. The survey covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
Singapore slipped to the second spot on the Henley Passport Index (with visa-free access to 190 countries) in 2020 as Japan received visa-on-arrival access to Saudi Arabia which Singapore did not. South Korea and Germany were tied for the third place (with a score of 189).
After the top 3, the list of 10 strongest passports in the world was largely dominated by European names. Finland and Spain shared the 4th position, Spain, Luxembourg and Denmark were tied for the 5th spot, and Sweden and France were together sitting at 6th place. Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland and Austria took the 7th position.
Both the US and the UK shared the 8th place, a significant decline from the number one spot they held in 2015.
Interestingly, India’s passport ranking has also dropped by two positions compared with last year and it now shares its spot with countries like Mauritania and Tajikistan. Indian passport holders can travel visa-free to 58 destinations like Indonesia, Macao, Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Iran and Qatar.
At the other end of the list, Afghanistan has been ranked as the worst passport with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to just 26 destinations. Iraq came second with a score of 28, Syria was the third worst with a score of 29, while Pakistan and Somalia shared the fourth place with a score of just 32.