The latest Henley Passport Index for Q3 2023 is out, providing fresh insights into global passport ranking. Out of 104 countries, Nepal passport power stands at the 99th spot, granting its citizens visa-free access to only 38 countries.

Rewind to 2006, when the Henley Passport Index first began, the Nepal passport ranking was 76th with visa-free access to just 20 countries. Fast forward to last year (2022), Nepal was 106th, albeit with access to 38 countries. The fluctuating rank, despite increased visa-free destinations, reveals the dynamic world of global mobility.

Now, let’s see how the Nepal passport ranking fares against other SAARC nations:

  • The Maldives, a tourist hotspot, stands proudly at 59, with access to 91 countries.
  • India, our close counterpart, stands at 81, with 57 visa-free destinations.
  • Bhutan is at 85, offering 53 visa-free countries.
  • Sri Lanka is at 96 with 41 countries.
  • Bangladesh inches ahead at 97, with 40 countries.
  • Pakistan is at 101, with 33 visa-free destinations.

Here are the SAARC countries:

Rank Country Visa-free Score
59 Maldives 91
81 India 57
85 Bhutan 53
97 Bangladesh 40
99 Nepal 38
101 Pakistan 33
104 Afghanistan 27

Singapore, a small city-state, tops the list with a visa-free score of 192, followed by Germany, Italy, and Spain with a score of 190. At the bottom of the list is Afghanistan, with a visa-free score of 27.

Here are the countries with strongest passport:

Rank Country Visa-free Score
1 Singapore 192
2 Germany,Italy,Spain 190
3 Austria, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, S. Korea, France,Sweden 189
4 Denmark,Ireland,Netherlands,UK 188
5 Belgium,Malta,Czech Republic,New Zealand, Norway, Portugal,Switzerland 187
6 Australia,Hungary, Poland 186
7 Canada,Greece 185
8 Lithuania,USA 184
9 Latvia,Slovakia, Slovenia 183
10 Estonia,Iceland 182

Interestingly, North Korea, often under strict international sanctions, ranks higher than Nepal in the Passport Index comparison. North Korea ranks 98th. This raises questions about the complexities of global diplomacy and the myriad factors affecting a country’s passport power.

The visa-free score represents the number of countries that passport holders of these nations can visit without needing a visa in advance.

The Henley Passport Index isn’t just about rankings; it’s about a nation’s global diplomacy, economic stature, and international reputation. The question isn’t about Nepal’s rank but about the “why” behind it. Why aren’t we climbing this ladder faster despite our strategic geopolitical position and rich culture?

It’s crucial to examine underlying factors. Is it our diplomatic approach, international perceptions, or perhaps other geopolitical intricacies at play? It’s time for a deeper dive and a recalibration of our strategies.

While the index may spark controversy, it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to introspect, learn from our neighbors, and strategize for greater global integration.

What is The Henley Passport Index?

The Henley Passport Index is a global ranking system for passports around the world. It evaluates 199 different passports using data sourced from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The index is dynamic, undergoing continuous updates throughout the year to reflect any changes in visa policies worldwide.

Visit the website of The Henley Passport Index to find out all the rankings and the methodology.

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