Indians can make visa-free entry to these countries after Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka join list
Malaysia joined the list of countries providing visa-free facility to Indian nationals to promote tourism.
The Passport Index, a global benchmark for passport strength and travel freedom, has placed India at the 137th position in its latest ranking. The index, which evaluates passport strength based on the number of countries citizens can visit without a visa, revealed that Indian passport holders face visa requirements for entry into 123 countries.
The Passport Index also discloses India's Passport Power Rank, which stands at 68. While this number signifies a moderate standing in comparison to other nations, it reflects the current state of India's international mobility amid three South Asian countries deciding on visa-free travel for Indian nationals for a certain period.
With a mobility score of 75, the Indian passport allows visa-free travel to 23 countries and visa-on-arrival access to 49 nations, according to the index. However, three more countries have allowed visa-free entry to Indian nationals to boost tourism, taking the tally to 26.
Indian passport holders can now make visa free-entry in Angola, Barbados, Bhutan, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Macao, Mauritius, Micronesia, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Monday announced 30-day visa-free entry for Indian and Chinese citizens from December 1, joining Thailand and Sri Lanka in recent weeks to offer such a facility to foreigners to promote tourism. The 30-day visa-free entry is also currently enjoyed by eight ASEAN countries for the purpose of social visits, tourism and business.
India remains among the top countries to contribute tourist arrivals to Malaysia.
Sri Lanka has introduced a visa-free entry initiative for visitors from India and six other countries, encompassing China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.
This initiative will remain effective until March 31, 2024, and aims to boost tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, with the tourism ministry setting a target of attracting five million tourists in the coming years.
Thailand has also lifted visa requirements for visitors from India and Taiwan. Indians can travel to Thailand without a visa and stay for up to 30 days, the government announced recently.
This visa-free access for Indian passport holders is applicable from November 10, 2023, to May 10, 2024.
India's passport ranking is likely to improve after these announcements.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains the country with the world's strongest passport, boasting a visa-free travel privilege to 116 countries and visa-on-arrival access to 57 nations. The UAE's total mobility score reached an impressive 173.
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