Revealed: Where the Irish passport now ranks on the worldwide ‘power list’

Paul Hyland

The Irish passport has been ranked the fifth most powerful worldwide by the number of destinations its holders can access without a prior visa.

The Irish passport shares fifth position with the UK, France and Portugal with a “visa-free score” of 187, while the US is just one place behind in 6th spot with a score of 186.

Japan and Singapore continue to share number one spot, with their passport holders able to access 192 destinations around the world visa-free – not taking temporary Covid-19 restrictions into account.

Germany and South Korea hold joint-2nd place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 190, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain share 3rd place, with their passport holders able to access 189 destinations around the world without having to acquire a visa in advance.

Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index with its nationals only able to access 26 destinations visa-free.

The analysis has been compiled by the consultancy firm Henley & Partners, whose Passport Index is based on official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Ukraine currently has a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 143 – a record high for the country – which now ranks 34th on the index, having climbed 26 places since 2012.

Russia trails behind in 49th place, with a score of 117 — a gap that is likely to increase even further in the coming months as a result of the war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions.

Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept Dr. Christian H. Kaelin said the latest update provides a “unique snapshot of a volatile and rapidly changing world”.

“As the value of the Russian passport rapidly declines and the world opens its doors to Ukrainians, it is abundantly clear that the passport you hold determines your fate and dramatically impacts the opportunities you have,” he said.

“While it is impossible to predict what the world will look like in the shadow of a new Cold War, the latest index suggests that the divide between Russia and much of the Western world will only increase.”