Whenever you travel internationally to another country, you will see the different lines that have been set up for different passport holders; some being expedited through automated systems, others needing to wait to have their passport checked, often with pre-organised Visas embedded. To sum it up, some passports are more powerful than the others and provide an upper edge to its passport holders. The most powerful passports provide visa-free access* to 190 countries, while the least powerful provides access to only 30 countries.
Ever dreamed about going to almost every country without having to worry about the visa requirements and the dreaded visa fee? For Japanese passport holders, flying to virtually anywhere hassle free isn’t just a dream – it’s a reality. Japan, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, is the world’s “strongest” passport. It has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport. The island country enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations after having gained visa-free access to Myanmar, compared to Singapore’s total of 189, knocking it to second place.
The two Asian countries have been neck and neck on it in recent months. They tied for top spot in February after gaining visa-exemption from Uzbekistan, pushing former top-spot holder Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014. And as per the latest reports, Germany has fallen to 3rd place, tied with South Korea and France with 188 visa-free destinations. Meanwhile, the United States and the United Kingdom slid down a spot from fourth to fifth place. Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries. The biggest mover since 2006 is the UAE, from 62nd place to 21st place.
India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others. The current ranking is an improvement from last year’s, when India stood at 86.
The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports in the world based on the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research
The countries in the top ten positions of the 2018 Henley Passport index are:
1. Japan (190 countries)
2. Singapore (189)
3. Germany, France, South Korea (188)
4. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy (187)
5. United Kingdom, United States, Austria, Portugal, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway (186)
6. Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland (185)
7. Greece, Malta, Australia (183)
8. New Zealand, Czech Republic (182)
9. Iceland (181)
10. Malaysia, Hungary, Slovenia (180)
The Henley count is one of two major passport indexes. A rival index, run by global financial advisory group Arton Capital, considers Singapore the world’s most powerful passport, with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival for 164 countries. According to this count, South Korea comes in second. Japan and Germany are tied for third, with access to 162 countries.
Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Visas
What makes a Passport powerful?
“Power” is measured in its ability to get the traveler into a foreign country without a visa. The more countries a passport holder can visit visa-free, the more power the passport has. Passport power is a measure of how trusted a country’s citizens are to behave themselves while visiting, and not overstay their welcome. Citizens of trusted countries are awarded visa-free entry to many other countries; citizens of less trusted countries, or of countries with fewer diplomatic connections, must apply for visas—which in some cases can be a lengthy and expensive process.
Advantages of having a strong passport
A strong passport means you can travel around the world without needing to apply for a visa ahead of time. Holding one of the most powerful passports in the world isn’t just about hassle free travel, it can also open up an abundance of career, business, and educational opportunities. The Governments are constantly renegotiating visa requirements to give their citizens an edge in global business, banking, and, of course, travel. With a strong passport, when you land in a country, you’ll be able to enter completely visa free for a period of time or will be granted a visa upon landing at the airport. A strong passport will allow you to enter more than 100 countries without a visa, based on agreements made between your country and foreign governments. Holding dual citizenship can also help you gain the most freedom while traveling.
Sounds unbelievable right and even more exciting to know that, 60 international countries offer visa-free or visa on arrival access to Indians. Well… it indeed it!
Also Read: Bright Future for Indian Passport Holders
It’s time to shed all the visa-worries and fly like a free bird! And who better then Akbartravels.com to give wings to your travel dreams. We help you experience these enthralling beautiful visa-free countries with your loved ones and have once in a lifetime experience.