Ireland joint fifth most powerful passport in the world

Ireland joint fifth most powerful passport in the world

IRELAND'S passport is ranked the fifth most powerful passport in the world, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

The Irish passport can gain visa-free access to 173 countries.

Ireland has moved up a spot from last year and puts an Irish passport alongside South Korea, Portugal, and the United States in terms of its power.

Just ten years ago it was ranked in second place with Finland and Portugal.

German passports can gain visa-free access to 177 countries which puts them top the list, compiled by Henley & Partners, for the fifth consecutive year.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, chairman of the group, insisted that where country's passports lie on the index, portrays the strength of their "global mobility".

"Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale", he said.

"The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports."

The Index evaluated the passport strength of 199 countries - using data from the last 13 years.

The ranking system is 'enhanced by extensive in-house research', and collects its data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Afghanistan holds the least powerful passport with visa-free access to just 24 countries.

Iraq (27), Syria (28) and Pakistan (30) also sit at the bottom of the list for the second year running.

Here's a list of the top five ranked passports by the Henley Passport Index.

  1. Germany (177)
  2. Singapore (176)
  3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK (175)
  4. Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland (174)
  5. Ireland, United States, South Korea, Portugal (173)