Ireland ranked fifth most powerful passport in new index

Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 10th January, 2018

DUBLIN, Ireland - In the 2018 Henley Passport Index, the Irish passport moved up one place - making it the fifth most powerful passport in the world.

The Index rated the Irish passport, simultaneously along with United States, South Korea, Portugal on the fifth position.

According to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, which evaluated the passport strength of 199 countries using data from the last 13 years - ranked Germany right on top.

As per the index, the Irish passport can gain visa-free access to 173 countries, and in comparison, German passports can gain access to 177 countries.

The list was compiled by Henley & Partners, for the fifth consecutive year.

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

He explained, "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.”

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

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

For the second year in a row, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan were also rated at the bottom of the list.

Singapore was rated second on the list, while Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and U.K. were rated third.

Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland were rated fourth on the list.