World's most powerful passport: France, Japan among 6 nations to share top spot; check India, Pakistan's rank
Citizens from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain now enjoy the advantage of visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to an impressive 194 destinations globally – marking the highest point since the inception of the Henley Passport Index.
A noteworthy shift has taken place in the ranking of the world's most powerful passports, with an unprecedented six nations currently holding the top spot for the most sought-after travel documents in 2024. Citizens from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain now enjoy the advantage of visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to an impressive 194 destinations globally – marking the highest point since the inception of the Henley Passport Index, which has been monitoring global travel freedoms for the past 19 years.
The Henley Passport Index, created by the London-based Henley & Partners and utilizing exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), mirrors the most recent patterns in global mobility. Traditionally, Japan and Singapore have maintained the leading position for the past five years. Nevertheless, the recent rankings signify a notable ascent for European nations. Finland and Sweden, alongside South Korea, currently occupy the second position, providing access to 193 destinations. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands closely follow in third place, each boasting access to 192 destinations.
With its passport ranking 80th on the list, Indian nationals can visit 62 countries—including well-known tourist hotspots like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand—without needing a visa. India shares its current rank with Uzbekistan while neighbouring Pakistan is positioned at 101st.
The index, dedicated to evaluating global travel freedoms, underscores a notable discrepancy in worldwide mobility, particularly emphasizing the limitations faced by the least influential passports.
Afghanistan continues to occupy the bottom position on the index, with its citizens enjoying visa-free access to merely 28 countries. This stark difference emphasizes the growing gap in global mobility, with the top-ranked nations now having the privilege to travel to 166 more destinations without a visa compared to Afghanistan.
Pakistan, with a visa-free score of 34, holds the unenviable title of possessing the fourth least powerful passport globally. Only Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan rank lower in the hierarchy of the world's most and least influential passports.
10 least powerful passports 2024:
Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territories (40)
Bangladesh, North Korea (42)
Eritrea, Sri Lanka (43)
Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan (45)
The report also illuminates the broader consequences of restricted travel freedom. The disparity in global mobility extends beyond mere convenience and reveals deeper geopolitical and economic imbalances. Nations with less powerful passports frequently encounter obstacles in international trade, investment, and the cross-border exchange of skills – essential elements for economic advancement.
The Henley Global Mobility Report 2024 underscores the significance of augmenting travel freedom and fostering openness to international collaboration as pivotal catalysts for global economic development. It posits that improving visa-free access can exert a positive influence on a country's economic performance and its integration into the global community.