Henley Passport Index 2021

All passports in the world are subjected to the original and authoritative rankings. This is done based on the number of countries the passport holders can visit without any prior visa. These rankings are referred to as the Henley Passport Index. 

Under this index, the visa-free accessibility status is compared in the context of 199 different passports covering a total of 227 travel locations. In cases where a visa is not required, a score having a value of 1 is provided to a particular passport. This rule also applies in cases where a visa can be obtained on arrival or when an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or a visitor’s permit can be obtained on entering a particular destination. 

With historical data spanning 16 years, the Henley Passport Index is the only one of its kind based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This topic will be of immense importance for the UPSC 2022, and thus requires adequate attention from the students.

Apart from this Index, there are various other national and global indices where India’s position and status are evaluated. IAS aspirants can read about such Global Indices & India’s Ranking in each of them, at the linked article.   

Henley Passport Index [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Candidates can also complement their preparation with the set of related links given below:

What is the Henley Passport Index?

The Henley Passport Index is a worldwide ranking system for countries and their passports, based on the freedom of the holders of such passports to travel visa-free or obtain a visa on arrival in various travel destinations. Earlier it was known as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI), when it was first implemented in 2006. However, in January of 2018, the system was later named the Henley Passport Index. 

The visa-free score for a specific passport is basically the number of countries that its holder can access without a prior visa. Since 2006, Henley & Partners have analysed the status of the visa regulations associated with all the countries and territories worldwide. For this, Henley & Partners has collaborated with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The index is an important part of the UPSC syllabus. Therefore, students must read and understand its different aspects, especially about the rankings of various countries, as per this index.

Based on the 2021 rankings under the Henley Passport Index: 

  • Germany is the European country with the most powerful passports providing access to 190 locations. 
  • In the 2021 list, the topmost positions are held by Japan and Singapore. Both these countries have passports that allow visa-free travel to their holders in 192 countries. 
  • The Henley Passport Index India rank as of 2021 is 90. 

India Rank in Henley Passport Index 2022

The Henley Passport Index 2022 India rank will depend on the current status of India, as per the rankings. In 2021, India had gone down by six ranks compared to its 2020 rank, moving to the 90th spot in the Henley Passport Index. In comparison with the topmost position holders in the list, India has been quite behind in allowing access to passport holders. While Japan and Singapore provide passports that allow visa-free access to their holders to 192 countries, Indian passports only allow 58 countries to be accessed without a prior visa. 

India’s rank in Henley Passport Index 2022 will be of much concern for the Indian Government regarding the international status of Indian passports. India’s rank has been low since 2020, and it has been worsening since then. Thus, 2022 holds greater importance as it has to be seen whether India can climb the list. 

It is to be noted that the Henley Passport Index does not consider the present-day COVID restrictions. This will account for different situations for the countries to cope with while the COVID pandemic keeps affecting the travel standards in major countries. However, India’s rank in the 2022 list will remain unaffected with this additional factor coming into place. All these are important for students aiming to crack the UPSC Exam.

Henley Passport Index [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

For further reading and in-depth IAS preparation, candidates are suggested to go through similar study materials by BYJU’S. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Henley Passport Index

Q 1. Which is the least powerful passport according to the 2021 Henley Passport Index?

Ans. According to the 2021 rankings under the Henley Passport Index, an Afghan passport happens to be the least powerful passport globally, allowing visa-free access to its holders only to a total of 26 countries.

Q 2. Has the number of visa-free accessible countries declined in the case of India in comparison to the previous years?

Ans. An Indian passport allowed for visa-free access to 60 countries as of 2018, making India stand at the 81st rank. However, the figure has certainly declined in 2021, with the number of accessible countries becoming 58.

Q 3. India’s rank is 90th in the HPI. What is the total number of ranks in this list?

Ans. India stands at 90 out of 116 rankings in the Henley Passport Index. This is one of the important current affairs questions that students can expect in their upcoming competitive exam papers.

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