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World’s Most ‘Powerful’ Passports: How Does Ireland Fare?

World’s Most ‘Powerful’ Passports: How Does Ireland Fare?

All passports are equal, but some are more equal than others: the latest rankings of the world’s most powerful passports is out, and Ireland is way up in the rankings. The Henley Passport Index determines the power of the passport by its ability to allow the holder to travel freely throughout the world with minimum fuss or visas.

Irish passport holders can take comfort in knowing that theirs is one of the world’s most powerful passports: in the latest rankings, it is second on a score of 133, alongside Sweden, Belgium, Austria and Italy. The power rankings are determined by how many countries grant visa-free travel versus those who will grant one on arrival and those that require one ahead of travel.

In Ireland’s case, 94 countries grant visa-free access; 39 will grant a visa on arrival; and 65 require a visa acquired ahead of travel. By way of contrast, the UK passport scored 131.

The World’s Most Powerful Passport?

In 2021, German citizens hold the world’s most powerful passport. It scored 134 in the rankings – where 98 countries grant visa-free access; 36 grant one on arrival; and 64 need one ahead of time. Finland, Spain and Switzerland also scored 134, but Germany came out tops because more countries grant it visa-free entry.

The World’s Least Powerful Passport

Holders of an Afghani passport will have the toughest time getting into countries. According to the rankings, it scored only 30, with only four countries allowing visa-free entry.

 

 

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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