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France claims top spot on Henley Passport Index for 2024; India drops to 85th position

In the recently released Henley Passport Index for 2024, France has secured the leading position, with its passport granting visa-free access to an impressive 194 countries.

However, India has experienced a slight setback, dropping from 84th to 85th place in the rankings.

This unexpected decline comes as a surprise, considering that Indian passport holders now enjoy visa-free access to 62 countries, up from 60 in the previous year. Despite recent initiatives from countries like Iran, Malaysia, and Thailand offering visa-free entry for Indian tourists, the overall passport ranking has slipped.

The Henley Passport Index, which evaluates passport strength based on visa-free access, includes other top-performing nations such as Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain.

In the South Asian region, Pakistan maintains its position at 106th place, while Bangladesh has seen a slight drop from 101st to 102nd position. On the brighter side, India’s neighbor, Maldives, continues to hold a robust passport ranking at 58th place, allowing Maldivian passport holders visa-free travel to 96 countries.

The Henley Passport Index derives its rankings from 19 years of data, utilizing the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) specialized data, covering 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations globally. The index, updated monthly, serves as a global standard for assessing the travel freedom of citizens across independent countries.

The data from the Henley Passport Index underscores the significant evolution in global mobility over the past two decades. In 2006, individuals could travel visa-free to an average of 58 countries, a number that has nearly doubled to 111 countries in 2024.

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