The 2024 Henley Passport Index highlights a remarkable surge in global mobility, with an astounding increase in visa-free destinations, nearly doubling since 2006. This year, six nations have jointly claimed the coveted top spot, offering their citizens unparalleled access to 194 out of 227 destinations worldwide.
Leading this elite group are four prominent EU member states — France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — alongside Asian powerhouses Japan and Singapore. Maintaining their stronghold on the first-place ranking for the fifth consecutive year, Japan and Singapore showcase the enduring strength of their passports.
The top 10 of the Henley Passport Index is predominantly occupied by European nations, with South Korea joining Finland and Sweden in second place, boasting visa-free travel to 193 destinations. Sharing the third position with access to 192 destinations are Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The United Kingdom has ascended two ranks to secure the fourth spot, enjoying visa-free access to 191 destinations, reflecting a positive shift from the previous year.
India, positioned at 80th on the 2024 Henley Passport Index, offers its citizens visa-free access to 62 destinations, including popular tourist hotspots such as Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.
Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the visionary behind the passport index concept, notes that the average number of visa-free destinations for travelers has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to an impressive 111 in 2024. However, the top-ranked countries now boast access to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free compared to Afghanistan, which occupies the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa.
Over the past decade, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the most notable climber, ascending an impressive 44 places in the ranking, from 55th to the 11th position. Notable advancements are also observed in Ukraine and China, each gaining a net total of 21 places over the past 10 years. Ukraine now stands at 32nd place with 148 visa-free destinations, while China secures the 62nd spot with access to 85 destinations without a prior visa.
Despite a net gain of 24 destinations over the past decade, Russia’s visa-free score and ranking have remained relatively stable since 2017. Presently, Russia holds the 51st place with access to 119 destinations, showcasing consistency in its global mobility standing.
This year’s Henley Passport Index unveils a dynamic landscape in global mobility, with significant shifts and notable advancements, emphasizing the evolving nature of passport strength and international travel accessibility.