Henley visa survey: Ireland has 15th most valuable passport in the world, Germany the most valuable

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  • Ireland has 15th most valuable passport
  • Ireland sixth in the Henley Quality of Nationality Index
  • European countries occupy all top 27 positions
  • Germany tops the rankings

irish passports

Ireland is among a group of countries that has the 15th most valuable passport in the world, according to a survey of visa restrictions by Henley & partners.

The Henley list awards points to passports which do not require visas for travel. Germans have the most valuable passports as they can who can access 177 of the 219 destiantions countries without visas. They are followed by Sweden and 16 of the most valuable 21 passports in the world are from European countries.

Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan occupied the bottom places in the list, accessing 32 countries or fewer without requiring a visa.

The USA (8th) has the most valuable passport in north America, Japan and Singapore (joint 12th) the most valuable in Asia, New Zealand (22nd) the most valuable in Oceania, Chile (40th) the most valuable in South America, and South Africa the most valuable in Africa despite placing 88th. There are 46 African countries in the bottom 88 in the list.

Russia (81st), Turkey (84th), Thailand (111th), India (147th) and China (154th) are well down the list. The countries in Henley’s survey were:

  • 177 Germany
  • 176 Sweden
  • 175 Britain, Finland, France, Italy, Spain
  • 174 Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, United States
  • 173 Austria, Japan, Singapore
  • 172 Canada, Ireland, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland
  • 171 Greece, New Zealand
  • 169 Australia
  • 168 Malta
  • 167 Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland
  • 165 Slovakia
  • 164 Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Slovenia
  • 163 Latvia
  • 162 Estonia, Lithuania
  • 161 Poland
  • 160 Monaco
  • 159 Cyprus
  • 156 San Marino
  • 155 Chile
  • 154 Hong Kong
  • 153 Brazil, Bulgaria, Romania,
  • 152 Andorra, Argentina
  • 153 Brunei Darussalam
  • 149 Croatia
  • 147 Israel
  • 141 Barbados
  • 140 Bahamas
  • 139 Mexico
  • 137 Uruguay, Taiwan
  • 134 Antigua & Barbuda, Vatican City
  • 133 Seychelles
  • 132 St Kitts & Nevis, Venezuela
  • 131 Costa Rica
  • 130 Trinidad & Tobago
  • 128 Mauritius
  • 127 Panama
  • 125 Paraguay, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines
  • 122 United Arab Emirates
  • 121 Grenada
  • 120 Macao
  • 119 Dominica, Honduras
  • 116 Guatemala
  • 115 El Salvador, Serbia
  • 112 Samoa
  • 111 FYR Macedonia
  • 110 Nicaragua, Tonga, Vanuata
  • 107 Montenegro
  • 105 Russian Federation
  • 104 Palau
  • 103 Colombia
  • 102 Turkey
  • 101 Bosnia Herzegovina, Moldova
  • 98 Albania
  • 97 South Africa
  • 94 Belize
  • 86 Peru, Solomon Islands
  • 82 Guyana, Kuwait, Timor-Lests, Tuvalu
  • 81 Ecuador, Fiji, Ukraine
  • 86 Maldives, Nauru
  • 79 Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Qatar
  • 78 Jamaica
  • 77 Papua New Guinea
  • 75 Micronesia
  • 74 Suriname
  • 73 Bahrain
  • 72 Bolivia, Botswana
  • 71 Oman, Thailand
  • 70 Namibia
  • 69 Lesotho, Saudi Arabia
  • 68 Kenya
  • 67 Belarus, Gambia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Swaziland
  • 65 Tanzania, Tunisia
  • 64 Ghana
  • 63 Zambia
  • 62 Azerbaijan
  • 61 Capo Verde, Philippines
  • 60 Uganda
  • 59 Benin, Cuba, Morocco, Zimbabwe
  • 58 Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan
  • 57 Armenia
  • 56 Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mongolia
  • 55 Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo
  • 54 Dominican Republic, Sao Tome & Principe
  • 53 Tajikistan
  • 52 India, Mali, Uzbekistan
  • 51 Bhutan, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sierra Leone
  • 50 Cambodia, China
  • 49 Chad, Egypt, Gabon, Turkmenistan
  • 48 Algeria, Central African Republic, Haiti, Madagascar, Rwanda
  • 47 Comoros, Jordan, Laos, Vietnam
  • 46 Guinea
  • 45 Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria
  • 44 Congo Republic, Djibouti
  • 43 Liberia
  • 42 Burundi, North Korea, Myanmar
  • 39 Bangladesh, Congo DR, Lebanon, Sri Lanka
  • 38 Kosovo, South Sudan, Yemen
  • 37 Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal, Palestinian Territory, Sudan
  • 36 Libya
  • 32 Syria
  • 31 Somalia
  • 30 Iraq
  • 29 Pakistan
  • 25 Afghanistan

The index is produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association and countries are ranked according to the total number of other countries which they can access visa-free. There are 219 destination countries (territories) in total. The maximum attainable score is 218 as points are not assigned for a national traveling to their own country. The survey evaluated 199 nationalities (passports): the 193 Member States of the United Nations, Hong Kong, Kosovo, Macao, Palestinian Territory, Taiwan and Vatican City.

E-visas are treated in the same way as visas on arrival. Where the conditions for obtaining an e-visa are straightforward (fee, return ticket, hotel reservation), a point was assigned. Where there are additional conditions such as invitation letters and consular approval, a point was not assigned

Countries that do not enforce their own visa restrictions are considered as a nationality, but not as a destination: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Palestinian Territory, San Marino and Vatican City.

Countries that enforce their own visa restrictions but issue passports under the authority of a governing country are considered as a destination, but not as a nationality: Aruba, Anguilla, Bermuda, Bonaire and St. Eustatius and Saba, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Cook Islands, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Gibraltar, Guam, Mayotte, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Samoa (American), St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (US).

The survey does not include eight unrecognised states: Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakhc, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Somaliland, Transnistia and Western Sahara, nor does it include autonomous rebel regions such as Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The IMF has 189 members, the United Nations 193 and 2 observers, the United States recognises 195 countries, 203 countries are  recognsied by at least one sovereign state, the Olympic Movement 205 members , FIFA  211 and the IAAF 215.

Separately Ireland ranked sixth for 2015 in the Henley Quality of Nationality Index, a drop in one place from its 2014 ranking. The rankings rate 161 of the 196 world nations by looking at the strength of each country’s economy, health, education, standard of living, and level of peace and stability. It also evaluates how easy it is for citizens to travel without a visa and live and work abroad.

European countries fill the top 10 with Germany top the table, followed by Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden. Ireland are tied with Austria for sixth place, with France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium rounding out the top 10. Britain just misses out on a top 10 place in 11th.

European countries fill all spots on the list down to 28th, when the USA breaks the pattern as North America’s top-ranked nation. Japan is the first Asian country listed at 30th, New Zealand heads the list for Oceania at 31, with Chile the top-ranked South American country at 34th. Africa is represented just once in the top 50, with the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius scraping in at 50.

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