Assessing India’s Passport Power: A Ranking Review
In today’s globalized world, having a strong passport can make a huge difference in terms of mobility and access to various countries. Different countries have different levels of passport strength, and India’s passport strength has been a topic of discussion in recent years. In this article, we will assess India’s passport power by reviewing its ranking and understanding the factors that affect it.
The Henley Passport Index is a ranking system that measures the strength of passports by the number of destinations that its holders can access without prior visa arrangements. According to the 2021 Henley Passport Index, India ranks 85th out of 110 countries, with a visa-free score of 58. This score implies that Indian passport holders can access 58 countries without prior visa arrangements. Compared to other countries in the South Asian region, India’s ranking is lower than that of Sri Lanka (95), Bhutan (86), and Nepal (83), but higher than that of Afghanistan (110), Pakistan (107), and Bangladesh (100). Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Germany are the top-ranking countries in the index, with a visa-free score of 190.
Factors Affecting Passport Power
The factors that affect the passport power of a country are multifold. The primary factors include bilateral agreements with other countries, political relations, economic ties, security concerns, and the perceived risk of immigration. From a broader perspective, the following are some of the key factors that affect India’s passport power:
1. Bilateral Agreements: India has signed several bilateral agreements to facilitate visa-free travel with other countries. Some notable agreements include those with Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius, Seychelles, and the Maldives. However, compared to other countries, India has signed fewer agreements, limiting its passport power.
2. Economic Factors: India’s economic growth, trade, and investment relations with other countries also influence its passport power. India’s economy has grown significantly in recent years, but it still lags behind that of developed countries. This could imply that India is less attractive to visa-waiver agreements.
3. Political Relations: Political relations between countries are a critical factor in determining visa-free travel. Countries with strong political ties often have more visa-free agreements. On the other hand, countries with weak political ties tend to have fewer agreements. As India’s relations with some countries are strained, it could affect its passport power.
4. Security Concerns: Security concerns, such as terrorism, also impact visa-free arrangements. Countries that are perceived to be at a higher risk of immigration or terrorism often have fewer visa-waiver agreements. While India has made progress in terms of security, it still faces several security challenges, which could limit its passport power.
5. Immigration Risk: Countries with a high level of illegal immigration are viewed negatively and are unlikely to have strong passport power. India’s population is expected to surpass China’s by 2027, and it could face a growing population pressure, which could impact its passport power negatively.
1. Which countries have the strongest passports?
As of 2021, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Germany have the strongest passports, with a visa-free score of 190.
2. What is the Henley Passport Index?
The Henley Passport Index is a global ranking system that measures the strength of passports by the number of destinations that its holders can access without prior visa arrangements.
3. What factors affect passport power?
Bilateral agreements, economic factors, political relations, security concerns, and immigration risk are some of the key factors that affect passport power.
4. How can a country improve its passport power?
A country can improve its passport power by signing more visa-waiver agreements, strengthening its economic ties with other countries, improving political relations, enhancing its security measures, and reducing the risk of illegal immigration.
5. What does a higher visa-free score indicate?
A higher visa-free score indicates that the passport holder can access a greater number of destinations without the need for a prior visa arrangement.