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Irish passport amongst the most powerful in the world

The Irish passport ranks among the most powerful in the world according to a recent study, with citizens being granted access to 172 different countries around the world.

The study was carried out by the Visa Restrictions Index who measured the power of passports from dozens of different nations, to see which allowed holders to travel to most countries.

Irish passport amongst the most powerful in the world

Most powerful passports based on how many different countries they grant access to
1) Germany, 177
2) Sweden, 176
3) Finland, France, Italy, Spain, UK, 175
4) Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, US, 174
5) Austria, Japan, Singapore 173
6) Canada, Ireland, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, 172
7) Greece, New Zealand, 171
8) Australia, 169
9) Malta, 168
10) Hungary, Czech Republic, Iceland, 167

The Irish passport came in joint sixth place, tied with Canada, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland.

The study was carried out with citizenship firm Henley and Partners, and was based on the visa restrictions effective at the beginning of 2016.

The study monitored how many of the 219 countries a national passport would allow a holder access to, so the highest score possible would have been 218 countries outside his/her own a person can visit.

German passports proved to be the most powerful in the world, with access to 177 countries. Sweden was second with access to 176, and the UK, Finland, France, Italy and Spain all tied for third with their respective passports allowing their citizens access to 175 other countries.

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, there has been a rush of Brits with Irish heritage applying for an Irish passport to give them more options regarding travelling and working abroad.


Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?

There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship

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About Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty You can follow him on

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  1. Kathlyn Conlon Pignio

    Can I get dual citizenship? My grandfather was born in Ireland, I am American.

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