The Irish passport is the seventh most powerful in the world. 

Ireland has a more powerful passport than the United Kingdom and the United States, according to a new 2020 ranking of the most powerful passports in the world. 

The Irish passport ranks as the seventh most powerful passport in the world, the latest Henley Passport Index has revealed, while the UK and US come in one spot behind in eighth. Ireland shares the seventh spot with Switzerland, Portugal, The Netherlands, and Austria.

Asian countries continue to dominate the rankings this year with Japan coming in the top spot for the third consecutive year, closely followed by Singapore and South Korea. 

The power of the UK and US passports have dropped in the past few years. The UK claimed the number one position for three years between 2013 and 2015, with the US joining them in joint first in 2014. 

Read more: Record smashed as close to a million Irish passports issued in 2019

Dr. Christian Kaelin, the creator of the index and chairman of Henley and Partners, stated on the release of the ranking that the dominance of Asian countries 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,” he said.

“The latest rankings show that the countries that embrace this reality are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and the array of benefits that come with it.”

The best passports to hold in 2020 are:

The British passport came in eighth place. Image: Getty.

The British passport came in eighth place. Image: Getty.

  1. Japan (191 destinations)
  2. Singapore (190)
  3. South Korea, Germany (189)
  4. Italy, Finland (188)
  5. Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark (187)
  6. Sweden, France (186)
  7. Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria (185)
  8. United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Belgium (184)
  9. New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia (183)
  10. Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary (181)

How many countries can I visit with an Irish passport?

According to the Henley Passport Index, an Irish passport can get you into 185 countries, making it the seventh most powerful passport in the world. 

Their site reads: “The Henley Passport Index is the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information and enhanced by ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.

“With expert commentary and historical data spanning 14 years, the Henley Passport Index is an invaluable resource for global citizens and the standard reference tool for governments in this field.”

Read more: These are the best places you can visit on an Irish passport

What qualifies you for an Irish passport? 

Of course, being an Irish citizen is the easiest way to qualify for an Irish passport. If you’re not already a citizen, there are ways you may be able to qualify still. We have a complete guide with everything you need to know here. 

Do you have an Irish passport? What spurred your decision to apply for one? Let us know in the comments section, below.