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Henley Passport Index
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Passport Index- features, performance of various countries and significance of the index.
Context: The latest edition of Henley Passport Index has been released.
What is Henley Passport Index (HPI)?
It is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.
Started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018.
How are the countries ranked?
The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and enhanced by the Henley & Partners Research Department.
The Index lists the world’s passports “according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa”.
The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.
Performance of various Countries:
- Japan is at the top. It has been topping the Index for three straight years; according to the 2020 index, its citizens are able to access 191 destinations without having to obtain a visa in advance.
- Singapore, in second place (same as in 2019), has a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 190.
- Germany is No. 3 (same position as in 2019), with access to 189 destinations;
- The US and the UK have been falling consistently over successive Indices.
Performance of India:
- The Indian passport is closer to the bottom, ranked 84th in the world.
- This translates into visa-free access to 58 destinations, including 33 which give Indians visas on arrival.
- Twenty of the 58 visa-free access destinations in the 2020 list are in Africa, and 11 each in Asia and the Caribbean. Serbia is the only European country to which Indian passport holders can travel visa-free.
Sources: the Hindu.