Recently, the Henley Passport Index 2023 was published by the consultancy firm named ‘Henley & Partners’.
GS II: International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Henley Passport Index
- Henley Passport Index 2023: Key Rankings
- Henley Openness Index: Top Findings
About Henley Passport Index:
- Henley Passport Index is a comprehensive global ranking that assesses the travel freedom of citizens based on their passports.
- Initially known as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI), it was established in 2006.
- The index evaluates all the world’s passports based on the number of countries their holders can access without requiring a prior visa.
- It covers 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations.
- The “visa-free score” of a passport corresponds to the number of countries its holders can visit without a visa.
- Henley & Partners collaborates with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and utilizes official data from their global database to analyze visa regulations worldwide.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- IATA is a trade association that represents the world’s airlines and was founded in 1945.
- The primary purpose of IATA is to support and promote airline activity, as well as to facilitate the formulation of industry policies and standards.
- The association’s headquarters is located in Montreal, Canada.
Henley Passport Index 2023: Key Rankings
Singapore Tops the List:
- Singapore has taken over the top spot from Japan as the most powerful passport in the world on the Henley Passport Index 2023.
- Citizens of Singapore can now travel to 192 destinations visa-free out of 227 around the world.
Germany, Italy, and Spain in Second Place:
- Germany, Italy, and Spain share the second spot on the index, offering visa-free access to a significant number of countries.
Japan Drops to Third Place:
- Japan, which held the top position for the past five years, has now dropped to the third place along with Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden.
- India has shown improvement in the rankings, climbing seven places to the 80th rank in the Henley Passport Index 2023.
- Indian passport holders can now access 57 destinations visa-free.
- India’s performance on the index has varied over the years, with rankings of 76 in 2014, 88 in 2015, 85 in 2016, 87 in 2017, 81 in 2018, 82 in 2019 and 2020, and 81 in 2021.
Henley Openness Index: Top Findings
The Henley Openness Index provides insights into how many nations each country allows visa-free access to, showcasing the openness and travel freedom of different countries worldwide.
Small Island Nations and African States Dominate:
- The Top 20 ‘most open’ countries on the Henley Openness Index are mostly small island nations or African states, with one exception – Cambodia.
12 Completely Open Countries:
- There are 12 countries that have been classified as completely open, meaning they offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to all 198 passports in the world (excluding their own).
- India was ranked 94 out of a total of 97 ranks on the Henley Openness Index.
- India allows visa-free access to only four countries, putting it among the least open countries in terms of travel freedom.
Four Countries with Zero Access:
- At the bottom of the Index are four countries that scored zero for not permitting visa-free access for any passport holders.
- These countries are Afghanistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Turkmenistan.
-Source: The Hindu