Thursday, 18 October, 2018

How powerful is Indian passport? Check 2018 Henley Passport Index ranking here

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking Japan now has the world's most powerful passport
Melinda Barton | 11 October, 2018, 03:17

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month.

India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations.

New Zealand passport holders can travel without visas to 182 countries.

In third place are Germany, South Korea and France, and the United Kingdom and the USA slid from fourth to fifth place, granting their citizens easy access to 186 destinations.

Uzbekistan lifted visa requirements for French nationals on October 5, having already granted visa-free access to Japanese and Singaporean citizens in early February.

Many ranking spots are shared by multiple countries with access to the same number of destinations.

Russian Federation received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking.

However, South Africa still ranks 3rd in Africa, after the Seychelles (25th strongest passport in the world, with 152 destinations) and Mauritius (31st strongest passport in the world, with 146 destinations).

The ranking determines how many countries the holder can enter either without a visa or be issued one upon entry. While Chinese nationals got access to two new areas visa-free or visa-on-arrival, it still slide down tow places to just 71st. Thailand ended up at No.68 and China at No.71, with at the bottom Afghanistan and Iraq, with only 30 visa waivers each, the Liberty Times reported.

Looking ahead, the most dramatic climb on the Henley Passport Index might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

For South Africans, that number is a steady 102, while other countries have been improving the freedom of movement of their citizens with bilateral agreements. Newcomer Moldova, due to launch its CBI program in November, climbed 20 places since 2008. There are 218 countries in the world in total which require a visa.

"CBI programs offer access to some of the world's strongest and most promising passports", says Dr. Kälin, "and the merit of these passports is a reflection of the underlying stability and attractiveness of the countries themselves".