Representational image
Representational image

Our nationality plays a vital role in determining the ease of access we have when it comes to international travel. Agreements such as that within the EU enables people to move freely within the nation, and the power of one's passport can also ensure which countries you can visit without the hassle of applying and waiting for visa approval.

The recently released 2021 Henley Passport Index reveals that Japan has the world's most powerful passport at present. As the global leaderboard uploaded to the organisation's website reveals, the Japanese passport can give holders easy access to a whopping 191 countries. Singapore is a close second, with access to 190 countries, while Germany and South Korea come third with easy access to 189 nations.

Note that easy access does not mean permissions are not required. However, for such passport holders, they can travel to the relevant number of countries without a prior visa. While some provide a visa on arrival, others do not require a visa altogether.

Japanese passport ranked most powerful in the world - Where does India stand?

At the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan's passport is at the bottom of the Henley Index, providing holders with easy access to 26 countries.

India ranks partway through the list, at 85th place. It appears to have fallen a few rungs - from 82nd place in 2020. India ties with Tajikistan for the rank, with both nations having ease of access to 58 destinations.

India's neighbours however fare far more poorly. Pakistan (rank 107) and Nepal (rank 104) continue to be in the 'worst passports to hold' category, with Pakistan having a visa-free score of 32 countries and Nepal having a score of 38 destinations. Sri Lanka (100th rank) and Bangladesh (101st rank) are ranked marginally higher, with access to 40 and 41 destinations respectively.

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Free Press Journal