Indian passport opens few doors – 166 countries are better off

18 Jan 2017


For Indians, international travel is never easy, with visa barriers at almost every destination. Now an index has quantified this – 166 out of 199 passport-issuing countries are better off when it comes to ease of travel.

The latest edition of the popular Arton Caiptal's 'Passport Index' is based on cross-border access of national passports. According to it, India has a visa-free destination score of 46, which is lower than Uganda, which ranks at 67. The Indian passport though is still ahead of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, ranked 89th and 94th respectively. According to the list, Afghanistan's passport is the least powerful with a visa-free score of 23.

In marked contrast, India is one of the most hospitable countries when it comes to welcoming foreign visitors, with visa-on-arrival granted to citizens of as many as 145 countries.

The rank of 46 includes 21 countries where an Indian can travel visa-free and 26 countries where Indians can expect visa on arrival.

Germany's passport has been ranked the highest in global ranking as the world's most powerful passport, whereas India ranks 78th in the list.

Germany scored the highest in the list with 157 visa-free destinations, while Singapore surpassed South Korea in the list to become the highest ranked Asian passport with a visa-free destination score of 156, just below Germany.

In the ranking, 'visa-free' score amounts to passports accumulating points for each country that their holders can visit without a visa, or can obtain a visa on arrival.

The top most powerful passports in the world include Germany, Sweden, Singapore, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America.

The least powerful passports in the world include Iran, Eritrea, Sudan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"The desire to improve one's opportunity and security for their family transcends borders. As such, having a second citizenship has never been more relevant," John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital, said.

The list has also added a new ''World Openness Score' (WOS) which follows the progression of freedom of mobility of nationals across the world. The WOS in 2016 was 17,925 and in the year 2017, the WOS score has already increased to 17,948.

"This trend shows opening of borders, but will it continue? With the recent backlash against globalisation and ongoing immigration issues, the World Openness Score may be in danger of decline," the report said.

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