Henley Passport Index is a global indexing platform which uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to publish a conclusive list of the most powerful passports every year. The strength of the passport is decided by how many countries provide visa-on-arrival or visa-free access to the citizens carrying the passports of a country.
For the fifth straight year, the Japanese passport is the most powerful among all passports in the world, as it allows visa-free access to as many as 193 countries. India, on the other hand, improved its position by 2 spots from last year, and is currently ranked 85th on the index. Citizens of Singapore and South Korea can travel to as many as 192 countries without visa.
These two Asian are followed by Germany and Spain the citizens of which can travel without pre-approved visa to as many 190 countries, and then a slew of other European nations. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg citizens enjoy visa-on-arrival or visa-free access to 189 countries.
India is ranked 85th on the Henley Passport Index. Indians have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 59 countries, including Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Egypt.
Afghanistan features on the very bottom of the list at 109th place with only 27 countries allowing its citizens visa on arrival. Iraq and Syria are the second and third worst passports respectively.
United Kingdom and United States have the sixth and seventh positions on the list respectively.
The ranking, published by London-based immigration consultancy Henley & Partners, uses data from the International Air Transport Association to rank 199 passports’ access to 227 travel destinations. It was invented nearly 20 years ago by Dr Christian H Kaelin, Chairman, Henley & Partners. The index is based on the exclusive and official data from the IATA. It is the original ranking of all the passports according to the number of destinations their holders can visit without a prior visa.
The methodology differs from other passport indexes like one published by financial advisory Arton Capital, which put the United Arab Emirates in pole position.