What is the Henley Passport Index?

A list of the world’s most powerful passport was released recently by Henley and Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm. While Japan tops the Henley Passport Index 2021 with a visa score of 191, Afghanistan is at the bottom at 110th position with a visa score of 26. India, along with Tajikistan, is ranked 85th. But what is this Index and what do the ranking mean?

We need a passport for global travel. A passport is an official document issued by a country’s government, certifying the identity and citizenship of the holder, and allowing them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries. But how will you know which countries you can visit with your country’s passport?

The Henley Passport Index periodically measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports, and ranks countries as per the travel access of their citizens. It ranks the 199 passports of the world, according to the number of countries their holders can visit without a visa (prior permission to enter a country) from the host nation.

Passport rankings also reflect the strength of diplomatic relations between countries. The Henley Passport Index lets you know how much travel freedom you can enjoy as a passport-holder, which type of visa you need to visit a particular country, and other such things.

Visa score

A country’s visa/mobility score indicates the number of countries its passport holder can visit visa-free or with a visa on arrival. India has been ranked 85th on the Index 2021 with a visa score of 58. To put it simply, Indian passport holders can visit 58 countries without a prior visa, or with a visa on arrival.

Launched in 2006

What was launched as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) in 2006 was renamed Henley Passport Index in January 2018.

It was Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, who came up with the concept of a passport index, and the ranking is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), the trade association of the world’s airlines.


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