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Revealed: Where the Irish passport ranks among world’s most powerful


Irish Passport | Stock Image | Deposit Photos

Irish Passport | Stock Image | Deposit Photos

Irish Passport | Stock Image | Deposit Photos

The Irish passport now ranks joint sixth on a list of the world’s most powerful, alongside those from France, Portugal and UK.

The Henley Passport Index, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival.

Japan topped the list for another year running, giving its holders access to 193 destinations with no visa or without one needing to be issued pre-departure.

Singapore and South Korea came in joint second place, with a score of 192.

EU member states filled up the rest of the top 10 spots, with Germany and Spain in joint-third place, with access to 190 countries visa-free.

Finland, Italy and Luxembourg follow in joint fourth place with 189 destinations, and Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden take fifth place, with their passport holders having access to 188 destinations.

10 most powerful passports

  1. Japan
  2. Singapore and South Korea
  3. Germany and Spain
  4. Finland, Italy and Luxembourg
  5. Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden
  6. France, Ireland, Portugal and UK
  7. Belgium, New Zealand, US, Switzerland and Norway
  8. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta and Greece
  9. Hungary
  10. Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia

Ireland, the UK and the US all dropped a place in the latest rankings, with the Irish passport giving holders access to 187 countries.

The latest index comes as travel in Europe and North America has recovered to around 60pc of pre-pandemic travel mobility levels, according to the Henley Global Mobility Report.

“The latest results from the Henley Passport Index are a heartening reminder of the very human desire for global connectivity even as some countries move toward isolationism and autarky,” said Dr Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners.

Despite staff shortages and disruption in the US and Europe, Dr Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist at IATA, said passenger numbers should reach 83pc of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

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“By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024,” she said.

However, international passenger demand in the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 17pc of pre-Covid levels, according to IATA’s latest statistics.

“The shock of the pandemic was unlike anything seen in our lifetimes, and the recovery and reclamation of our travel freedoms, and our innate instinct to move and migrate will take time,” Dr Kaelin added.

Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index as its nationals can only access 27 destinations worldwide visa-free.

"Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever before,” the index states, as sanctions, travel bans, and airspace closures limit its citizens’ travel after the nation invaded Ukraine.

The Russian passport sits at 50th place with a score of 119.

The Ukrainian passport takes a higher spot, currently sitting at 35th place, with holders able to access 144 destinations around the world without needing a visa in advance.

Under an emergency plan, Ukrainians have been granted the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years.

- Additional reporting by Pól Ó Conghaile

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