As of the beginning of 2024, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain jointly hold the coveted position of having the world’s most powerful passports, according to the latest Henley Passport Index. These passports grant their holders visa-free entry to an impressive 194 global destinations, as reported by data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Traditionally, Japan and Singapore have consistently occupied the top spot for the past five years. However, the current ranking reveals a shift, with European nations making significant strides. Finland and Sweden, tying with South Korea, share the second position, providing visa-free access to 193 destinations. Securing the third position are Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands, enabling passport holders to visit 192 destinations without a visa.
India’s passport holds the 80th spot on the list, allowing its citizens visa-free travel to 62 countries, including popular tourist destinations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. India shares its ranking with Uzbekistan, while neighboring Pakistan occupies the 101st position.
Christian H Kaelin, the chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index, highlighted the widening global mobility gap among countries. Despite a general trend towards increased travel freedom over the last two decades, the disparity between the top and bottom of the index has reached an unprecedented level.
Mr. Kaelin noted, “The average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.” He underscored that top-ranked countries now enjoy the privilege of traveling to a remarkable 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which occupies the bottom spot on the list, with access to only 28 countries without a visa. Following Afghanistan are Syria, with visa-free access to 29 destinations, Iraq with 31, and Pakistan with 34.