New Delhi, Jan 10: For the second time in a row, Japan retained its top spot as the world's most powerful passport in 2019, according to the Henley Passport Index. The country became the world's most travel-friendly passport due to the document's access to 190 countries.
In 2019, 27 countries were in the top 10 positions on the index, with 20 of those countries located in Europe, and three in Asia.
India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively. South Korea edged up the ranking from October's index to join Singapore, offering access to 189 jurisdictions. Elsewhere in Asia, China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
The UK drops from 4th place to 6th place, while the US drops from 5th place to 6th place, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 185 destinations.
Henley & Partner's list is one of several indexes created by financial firms to rank global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens. The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
Countries affected by war like Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are least travelled to and see a significant decline.