How powerful is Indian passport?

Indian passport

Whenever you plan to travel to foreign countries and explore the other side of life, you all of the sudden the image that strikes you is yourself standing in a long queue and waiting for your number so that you can finally explore other countries. This hectic process sometimes makes you tiresome and you drop your plans. But there are a good number of countries where you can travel without having to exhaust yourself.

Being an Indian passport holder, Indians get the opportunity to travel to other countries where you are not required to apply for the visa and wait for months for approval from consultant offices. You don’t have to fear for cancellation of visa and reapplying for the visa. There are more than 10 countries where one can travel visa-free and more than 30 countries where visa-on-arrival is available.

What is the rank of India in the Global Passport Index?

As per Global Passport Index India is Ranked 72[i] which states India’s passport power in 2020. By the rank which a particular country attains it says about their mobility score and the higher the mobility score the more countries one can travel visa-free and visa-on-arrival.

How can a mobility score be improved?

The mobility score can be improved by adding passport to other countries[ii]. This means acquiring dual citizenship of other Nationalities. For instance, if a person is immigrating to Canada then that person has to apply for a passport and prove his/her permanent resident by staying for 5years. This makes him acquire citizenship of two nations which depends on the citizenship policy of each nation.

 However, dual citizenship is not allowed for Indian but through Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme, anyone who was the citizen of India except Bangladesh and Pakistan as on 26th January 1950 will be entitled to get all the opportunity under Article 16 of the India Constitution except voting rights[iii]. They will be treated as Non-Resident Indian i.e., NRI.

What is the difference between visa-free and visa-on-arrival?

Visa-free means where a particular country passport holder gets permission to enter the country without seeking permission for a specified period of time, whereas, visa-on-arrival is where you require permission after arrival at the airport of the country by the foreign authority for a specific period of time[iv].

What are the benefits of an Indian Passport holder?

Any Indian who is the holder of Indian passport gets the benefit to travel to foreign countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival. They have the freedom to move without seeking permission. The given visa-free countries and visa-on-arrival countries are being given by the Ministry of External Affairs who looks after maintaining foreign relation policies through an exchange of tourism, employment, education, medicine, technology etc.

The following are the countries with the number of days they can stay for a specific purpose, without bothering to apply for the visa.

Visa-free Countries[v]

1. Barbados stay from 30 to 90 days is permitted.

2. Dominica permits stay up to six months for tourism and business.

3. Grenada permits stay up to three months.

4. Haiti permits visa-free entry.

5. Hong Kong permits stay up to 14 days, strictly subject to completing the Hong Kong Government mandatory Pre-arrival Registration (PAR) online.

6. Maldives permits stay for a maximum of 90 days.

7. Mauritius Government provides stamps visas of different types on arrival to segregate Indian visitors under various categories and maintain a record. For instance, for a Tourist visa, 60 days is allowed, a Visit visa is granted for a maximum period of 6 months.

8. Montserrat permits stay for a period of three months for business and tourist purposes.

9. Nepal allows Indians to visa-free.

10. Niue Island permit stays up to 30 days.

11. Saint Vincent & the Grenadines permits stay up to 30 days.

12. Samoa permits stay up to 90 days.

13. Senegal permits stay up to 90 days.

14. Serbia permits stay up to 30 days.

15. Trinidad & Tobago permits stay up to three months for tourism and business purposes.

Visa-on-arrival Countries[vi]

1. Angola grants permission for one month.

2. Armenia grants permission for 21 days or 120 days, single entry.

3. Bolivia grants permission for 60 days period.

4. Cabo Verde permits visa-on-arrival.

5. Cambodia grants permission for 30 days

6. Cameroon Union Republic Cameroon allows pre-approved visa-on-arrival.

7. The Cook Islands grants permission for 1 month.

8. Ethiopia grants permission for 1 month.

9. Fiji grants permission for 4 months.

10. Guinea Bissau grants visa-on-arrival.

11. Indonesia grants permission for 30 days which could be extended for 60 days on payment of an amount.

12. Iran grants Visa-on-Arrival facility and Indian applicants have to apply online & obtain ‘Submission Notice’.

13. Jamaica grants permission for 90 days.

14. Jordan grants permission for 30 days.

15. Kenya grants permission for 3 months which could be extended for 3 months more.

16. Kiribati grants permission for 2 months.

17. Laos grants permission for 30 days.

18. Madagascar grants permission for a period of 3 months for tourism.

19. Mauritania grants permission for 90 days.

20. Myanmar grants permission on the basis of purpose and number of days one stay with certain fees.

21. Nigeria permits pre-approved visa-on-arrival.

22. Qatar grants permission for 30 for tourism on certain conditions

23. The Republic of Marshall Islands grants permission for 90 days.

24. Reunion Island grants permission for a maximum duration of 14 days for tourism purposes.

25. Rwanda grants permission for 1 month.

26. Saint Lucia grants permission for 6 weeks.

27. Seychelles grants permission for 90 days with a single entry.

28. Somalia grants permission for 1 month.

29. Sri Lanka grants permission for 30 days which can be extended up to 180 days in the case of Tourist Visa.

30. Suriname grants permission for 90 days on Tourist card.

31. Tajikistan grants permission for a period of 30 Days with Single Entry and multiple entry visas for a period of 90 Days.

32. Tanzania grants permission for maximum of 3 months/single entry.

33. Thailand grants permission for 15 days.

34. Tunisia grants permission for a maximum of 3 months single entry.

35. Tuvalu grants permission for 1 month.

36. Vanuatu grants permission for 1 month.

37. Vietnam grants permission for a maximum period of 3 months.

38. Zimbabwe grants permission for 30 days for a single entry.

39. Bhutan grants permission after paying an amount of rupees 1200 per day of stay called as Sustainable Development fee[vii].

Why certain nations have the highest mobility score?

Countries like UAE, Germany, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark, etc. come under the strongest passport of the countries as they have the highest mobility score than other countries. These countries allow visa-free and visa-on-arrival facilities to their citizens and can travel in any country without applying for a visa easily.

The mobility score of these countries is high because of their strong economic stability and trade relations with respective counties which allow them to maintain foreign relations. These relations are maintained by becoming members of various foreign organizations like UNCTAD, UNECE, etc. and also by becoming the host country.

Conclusion

Being an Indian Passport holder gives you an opportunity to explore other foreign countries, where traveling is made easier due to our foreign policies. Indians can travel without a visa in a good number of countries as there is freedom of movement allowed by just being a citizen of India. One can travel for setting business, exploring different places, for medical treatment and for other purposes. The freedom of movement will increase when foreign relations with other countries will improve.

Edited by Pushpamrita Roy

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje 

 Reference

[i]https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php.

[ii]https://www.passportindex.org/improve.php?p1=in&p2=0&p3=0&p4=0&s=yes

[iii]https://boi.gov.in/content/overseas-citizen-india-oci-cardholder.

[iv]https://www.passportindex.org/about.php.

[v]https://mea.gov.in/Images/amb1/ru_539_1_21_11_2019.pdf.

[vi]https://mea.gov.in/Images/amb1/ru_539_2_21_11_2019.pdf.

[vii]http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bhutan-ends-free-entry-for-indian-tourists/article30737792.ece.

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I samridhi srivastava is pursuing B.A.LL.b from Lloyd Law college. My inclination is towards writing legal articles and doing legal research work and is also looking forward to have a career in legal journalism. I am also interested in writing shayari; reading novels of great personality like Swami Vivekanand, my experience with truth, APJ Abdul Kamal's sir autobiography etc.; reading news and listening music in my free time.