Global citizenship and residence advisory firm, Henley & Partners, has placed Pakistan at the 100th position among 227 nations, rating it as the fourth worst passport worldwide. The report reveals that Pakistanis had visa-free or on-arrival visa access to 35 countries until the beginning of the year, a number that has since declined to 33.
The London-based advisory firm had previously ranked Pakistan among the five worst passports earlier this year. The ranking is determined by the number of countries their citizens can visit without needing a prior visa. Pakistan, with a population exceeding 220 million, continues to grapple with limited travel accessibility for its citizens.
Meanwhile, India secures the 80th rank on the list, with 57 countries offering on-arrival visa facilities to Indian passport holders. Despite their close geographical proximity, the passport power of the two nations exhibits a significant contrast.
Singapore has taken the lead in the index, possessing the most desirable passport globally. This topples Japan, which held the top position for the past five years, and now shares the third spot with countries including South Korea, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The passport holders of these nations can visit up to 189 destinations without requiring a visa in advance.
Contrastingly, Singaporean passport holders enjoy the liberty of traveling to 193 of the 227 countries visa-free, which is the highest level of travel freedom recorded in the index. While Asian countries have traditionally held dominance in the index, European nations such as Germany, Italy, and Spain are regaining ground, with these nations granting their citizens visa-free access to 190 destinations.
Once at the forefront of the index, the United States and the United Kingdom have experienced a drop in their rankings. Britain has made some recovery, advancing to the fourth position, while the US has slipped to the eighth place, offering its citizens access to 183 visa-free destinations.
The Henley Passport Index is periodically updated to incorporate changes in visa policies based on International Air Transport Association (IATA) data. Over the years, the average number of visa-free destinations for travelers has nearly doubled, increasing from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023.
Despite these strides, a significant gap persists in travel freedom between the highest and lowest-ranked countries. The least travel privileges are held by nationals of conflict-stricken countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, with access to only 27, 29, and 30 destinations respectively. Henley & Partners emphasized that the overall trend across the 18-year history of the ranking indicates increased travel freedom, reflected in the near doubling of visa-free destination access from 2006 to 2023.