INDIA

DNA Explainer: Indian passport gets stronger, what it means for passport-holders

Henley Passport Index 2022: The year 2022 begins in a positive note with the Indian passport getting stronger after climbing seven places to rank 83rd in the world. London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley and Partners has released this Henley Passport Index for the year 2022.

The Henley Passport Index 2022 is based on exclusive data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Last year, the Indian passport ranked at the 90th position. With the seven places jump, there is an improvement for Indian passport-holders. Indians now have access to 59 countries that don’t require a prior visa.

The current rankings show the strength of passports for the first quarter of 2022. India shares the position with Sao Tome and Principe in Central Africa, behind Rwanda and Uganda. It is predicted that along with the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change will be a key driver of mobility in the months and years to come.

Some of the countries where Indian passport holders can get Visa On Arrival (VOA) are Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Iran, Armenia, Jordan, Albania, Serbia, Trinidad and Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bolivia, Mauritius, and Ethiopia.

Factors responsible for ranking of passports

(Image Source: IANS)

One of the factors is the number of destinations passport holders can access without a prior visa.

Indian passport holders can now visit 59 countries without a prior visa and will get Visa On Arrival.

Henley Passport Index rankings are based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA).

It is supplemented, enhanced and updated with the help of extensive in-house research and open-source online data.

Updated quarterly, the index includes passports from 199 countries and 227 different travel destinations.

Most powerful passports

The Henley Passport Index ranked Japan and Singapore as number one for the first quarter of 2022.

The second place on the Henley Passport Index was acquired by Germany and South Korea.

Spain, Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg were given the third position in terms of the most powerful passports.

Japanese, Finnish and Irish passport holders can visit more than 180 destinations without a visa.

The United States and United Kingdom now sit in 6th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 186.

UAE is at 15th rank, the highest spot achieved for the Arab nation with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 175.

Citizens of Vietnam, Chad and Egypt can visit only about 50 countries as per Henley Passport Index.

Golden visa and Indians

It refers to the immigration program which allows wealthy individuals to get a residence permit or citizenship in another country.

The golden visa is acquired simply by purchasing a house there or making a relatively large investment or donation.

A 21% increase in Indian nationals acquiring investment migration programs through Henley & Partners between 2019 and 2020.

This leapt up significantly in 2021 with an increase of just over 200% in the number of Indian nationals who opted for golden visa.

When compared to pre-pandemic sales figures, the increase between 2019 and 2021 would be 264 percent.

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