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QUESTION NO.844 VISA FREE ACCESS

February 07, 2018

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.844
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.02.2018



844. DR. GOKARAJU GANGA RAJU:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, India is at its lowest ranking with regard to the visa-free access to more countries and China has surpassed India;

(b) if so, the details thereof; and

(c) the measures taken by the Government to improve its passport rankings in providing visa-free access to more countries on the globe?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) & (b) As per information available on the website www.henleyglobal.com, the Henley Passport Index ranks all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa free. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association and lists the countries that can be accessed visa-free, with an electronic visa (e-Visa), with a visa on arrival, or with a normal visa.

According to the Henley Passport Index available on this website (Annexure-I)PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. , India is ranked at 86 with 49 countries providing visa free access. China is ranked 75 with 60 countries providing visa-free access.

(c) The Government has recently liberalised the visa policy with the objective of promoting investments and tourism into India from other countries. The e-Visa scheme has been liberalised to allow business visits and medical treatment in India. The number of entries and validity of e-Visas has been increased and the scheme has been expanded to include 163 countries and territories till date. These initiatives are expected to encourage other countries to reciprocate and facilitate travel of Indian passport holders to their countries.

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