Indian passport holders can travel to 57 destinations without a visa, shows the latest ranking published by the Henley Passport Index, which ranked the country at 80 among the overall list of 227 destinations assessed in the Q3 2023 Global Ranking.

India's position improved seven places as compared to 2022 and this year it ties with countries like Togo and Senegal, which are also ranked at 80, with unrestricted access to 57 countries each.

Indian passport holders can get visa-free access to countries such as Oman, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mauritius, and Tunisia. They can get visa-on-arrival to countries like Zimbabwe, Senegal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Of the total 57 countries, Indians require visa-on arrival at 31 destinations, the report says.

Singapore ranked number one when it comes to having a powerful passport, giving it visa-free access to 192 global destinations. The country replaced Japan this year, which is ranked 3rd.

Japan has been knocked off the top spot on the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years. The ranking is based on official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"Singapore is now officially the most powerful passport in the world, with its citizens able to visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free. Germany, Italy, and Spain all move up into 2nd place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, and Japanese passport holders join those of six other nations -- Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden -- in 3rd place with access to189 destinations without a prior visa," the report says.

The UK jumped up two places on the latest ranking to 4th place — a position it last held in 2017. The US, on the other hand, continues its now decade-long slide down the index, plummeting a further two places to the 8th spot with access to just 184 destinations visa-free. Both the UK and the US jointly held 1st place on the index nearly 10 years ago in 2014 but have been on a downward trajectory ever since.

Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, says only eight countries worldwide have less visa-free access today than they did a decade ago, while others have been more successful in securing greater travel freedom for their citizens. “Ukraine and China are also among the Top 10 countries with the most improved rankings over the past decade."

Afghanistan remains entrenched at the bottom of the Henley Passport Index, with a visa-free access score of just 27, followed by Iraq (score of 29), and Syria (score of 30) — the three weakest passports in the world.

"The general trend over the history of the 18-year-old ranking has been towards greater travel freedom, with the average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free nearly doubling from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023," the report adds.

However, it says the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than it has ever been, with top-ranked Singapore able to access 165 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan.

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