The results are in, and yet again, Ireland is listed to have a passport status that trumps other major countries around the world.
We may be a small island community of only 6.6 million people, but to be in possession of an Irish passport is actually a pretty strong hand of cards to hold.
The most recent figures were published as the New Year broke by the Henley Passport Index who release annual reports ranking countries with the most powerful and least powerful passports.
The report that indicates said powerfulness is indicative of countries whose passports allow for ease of travel from one country to the next, are visa-free or allow for visa-on-arrival in foreign territories.
The figures which were published list Ireland and the Irish passport at a proud number seven out of all countries ranked by the group.
Not known to many, but Irish passport holders are entitled to visa-free access to a whopping 184 countries in the world. These can range from the obvious ones such as the United Kindom and a range of countries in the European Union to less trodden tourist routes such as Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Taiwan, Gambia, Morocco, Tunisia and Fiji, to name but a few.
Furthermore, access to countries via visa-on-arrival only further solidify Ireland’s place of power on the 2019 Henley Passport Index. These countries include (but are not limited to) Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt, Kenya, Jordan, Samoa and Tonga.
The index also outlines countries which Irish passport-holders are eligible to apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). eTA’s can be achieved via online application for travel in countries such as Australia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Canada and the United States.
The number seven ranking of Ireland on this index means the Emerald Isle has fallen two spots in the past 12 months, despite adding an additional 11 countries to its total number of those which allow for ease of access.
First place was awarded to Japan which offers its passport-holders easy access to a whopping 190 countries across the globe. Second place was awarded to South Korea and Singapore, both of which have 189 nations listed for ease of access.
Third place was split between Germany and France who both offer their passport-holders the opportunity to travels, hassle-free to 188 countries.
Fourth place was quartered between Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden with 187 nations available, visa-free, to their passport-holders.
Luxembourg and Spain took a joint fifth place with 186 destinations available to their passport-holders, hassle-free, while the United Kingdom and the United States shared sixth place at 185 countries – a solid slide from their joint first ranking in 2015.