Indian Visa Current Affairs - 2020

Henley Passport Index launched

Recently, Henley Passport Index was launched. The index was launched based on the data collected from International Air Transport Association (IATA). Around 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations were considered to launch the index.

The Index is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without visa.

Highlights

According to the index, Japan has the world’s strongest passport. Japan has been holding top rank position for the past 3 years. According to 2020 index, the citizens can access 191 destinations without the necessity of obtaining visa in advance.

Japan was followed by Singapore, Germany, South Korea at second, third and fourth places respectively. US and UK have been falling places for two year are now in eighth position.

India ranked closer to the bottom at rank 84.

History of performances

UAE was the historic performer of Henley Passport Index 2020. UAE has jumped 47 places in the past 10 years. It is currently at 47th position.

India was in Rank 71 as the index was released in 2006. Today Indian citizens can access only 60 destinations in the world without obtaining prior Visa.

Visa Free Destinations

There are 58 destinations in the world that does not require prior Visa. 20 of the 58 are in Africa, 11 in Asia.

There is no developed country or a major power in the world where Indians can travel without Visa. Serbia is the only European country where Indians are allowed to travel without visa.

What is Passport Index?

Passport index is an online tool that provides insights about visa-free travel option. The score also says how welcoming the countries are. The Passport index includes Visa-Frees score, World Openness score, Welcoming score and Global Mobility score. When these scores are high, passport index is also high and such a passport is said to be highly powerful.

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Home Ministry discontinues ‘Black Lists’ of Indian-Origin People

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it has put an end to the local adverse lists commonly known as ‘Black Lists’ of Indian-origin people.

About Black List

  • It is maintained by Indian missions (Indian Embassies in different countries) and posts abroad.
  • It contains list of Indian-origin people who have taken asylum (i.e. right to international protection in this other country) abroad under plea of alleged persecution in India. These asylum seekers in list are predominantly Sikhs.
  • Those who are in list are denied visa services by Indian missions and posts in respective country.
  • Recent Developments: Such Indian-origin asylees (person who is seeking or granted political asylum) and their family members who are now not in adverse list, will be granted visa and consular services at par with foreigners of country in which they are living. They can also get Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards if they have held normal Indian visas for at least two years.

Note: An OCI card holder is an immigration status which permits a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely.

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