IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


20th July, 2023 International Relations

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  • India has risen seven places on the Henley Passport Index, 2023.


Indian Passport Ranking on Henley Passport Index

  • India's Climb: India has risen seven places on the Henley Passport Index, 2023, from the 87th rank last year to the 80th rank.
  • Visa-Free Access: The number of countries allowing visa-free access to Indian passport holders remains unchanged.

What is the Henley Passport Index?

  • Definition: The Henley Passport Index is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom enjoyed by their ordinary passport holders.
  • Destinations Considered: The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

Indian Passport's Performance Over the Years

  • In 2014: India ranked 76 with 52 countries allowing visa-free access.
  • In 2023: India ranks 80 with no change in the number of visa-free access countries.

Top Ranked Passports in 2023

  • Singapore: Citizens can visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world without a prior visa.
  • Germany, Italy, Spain: These countries share the second position, offering visa-free access to 190 destinations.

Other Notable Rankings

  • Japan, which held the top position for five years, dropped to third place.
  • The U.K. climbed two places to occupy the fourth spot, while the U.S. dropped two places to the eighth spot.

Henley Openness Index

  • India's Rank: India was ranked 94 out of 97 countries for allowing only four countries visa-free access.
  • Bottom Ranked Countries: Afghanistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Turkmenistan scored zero for not permitting visa-free access for any passport.

Methodology of the Index

  • The index ranks passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
  • Scores are given based on whether a visa is required, can be obtained on arrival, or visa-free access is granted.

Challenges and Implications

  • Limited Mobility: The low ranking on the Henley Openness Index indicates that Indian passport holders have restricted travel freedom.
  • Economic Impact: Restricted travel can hinder economic opportunities, business expansion, and tourism potential.

Overall Assessment

The improvement in India's passport ranking on the Henley Passport Index is a positive sign, indicating some progress in visa facilitation. However, the Henley Openness Index highlights the need for further reforms to enhance travel freedom for Indian citizens. Countries with higher passport rankings enjoy greater economic benefits and global opportunities. To achieve higher rankings, India must continue working on improving visa policies, establishing bilateral agreements, and fostering international relations for mutual visa relaxations.


Q. Which of the following statements about the Henley Passport Index is correct?

A) The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of countries based on their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.

B) It provides an annual ranking of passports based on the number of countries their holders can access without a visa.

C) The Henley Passport Index is published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

D) The index includes 227 passports and 199 travel destinations.