Sunday 24 February 2019

Revealed: The world's most powerful passports (and where Ireland ranks)

Passport and boarding passes. File photo (Deposit)
Passport and boarding passes. File photo (Deposit)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Japanese citizens hold the strongest passport in the world, followed by Singapore and South Korea, as Asian countries continue to dominate the world rankings.

Japan is in first place, with its citizens able to travel visa-free or obtain a visa on arrival in 190 countries, according to the 2019 Henley Passport Index.

Japan is followed by Singapore and South Korea in joint second place, whose citizens can visit 189 destinations without getting a visa before travel. Henley & Partners says that this is the highest position that South Korea has reached on the passport index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

The “continued dominance” of Asian countries in the passport index reflects the “extraordinary effect that international mobility and migration has had on the region”, said Henley & Partners, a citizenship advisory firm.

Meanwhile, Ireland was ranked seventh alongside Belgium, Canada and Greece all of which can travel to 184 destinations. In 2018, Ireland was ranked joint fifth.

Germany and France are ranked in third place, with access to 188 destinations without a visa; while the US and the UK continue to falter, and now sit at joint sixth place with access to 185 destinations. It marks a significant fall from 2015, when American and British passports were ranked the strongest.

In fourth place are Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden, while Spain and Luxembourg are joint fifth.

At the bottom of the 2019 ranking is Iraq and Afghanistan, with access to just 30 visa-free destinations each.

Most powerful passports

1. Japan

2. Singapore

2. South Korea

3. France

3. Germany

4. Finland

4. Denmark

4. Italy

4. Sweden

5. Luxembourg

5. Spain

Least powerful passports

1. Iraq

1. Afghanistan

2. Syria

2. Somalia

3. Pakistan

4. Yemen

5. Eritrea

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