The Irish passport is one of the most powerful in the world, according to the latest calculations by the Henley Passport Index.
Henley studied data from the International Air Transport Association to see how freely a citizen was able to travel using the passport of their country.
It looked at how many countries a member of the public would be able to travel to visa-free or whether a person could obtain a visa once they reached another country.
An Irish passport allows a citizen to travel visa free to 185 countries.
This makes it the seventh most powerful passport in the world – along with Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland whose passports also enable entry into 185 countries.
That is one place ahead of both the UK and the USA, who are tied in eighth place.
Japan has the most powerful passport in the world as it allows citizens visa free access to 191 countries.
Singapore was the second most powerful, followed by South Korea and Germany who were joint third.
The least powerful was Afghanistan, which allowed visa-free travel into just 26 countries. The Iraqi passport was only slightly better, allowing visa free travel into 28 countries.
Christian Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners said: “Asian countries’ dominance of the top spots is a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements.
“Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life.”
Many people from overseas have applied for an Irish passport in recent years – particular from the UK following the Brexit referendum. If you have Irish ancestry you may be entitled to an Irish passport – click here to find out more
Top 10 most powerful passports in the world
1 – Japan (191 countries)
2 – Singapore (190 countries)
3 – Germany, South Korea (189 countries)
4 – Finland, Italy (188 countries)
5 – Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain (187 countries)
6 – France, Sweden (186 countries)
7 – Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (185 countries)
8 – Belgium, Greece, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (184 countries)
9 – Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand (183 countries)
10 – Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia (181 countries)
For more information visit Henley & Partners.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling