Ireland’s passport rises in power rankings

New figures show that over a million people born outside of Ireland have applied for Irish passports in the last six years.

While the UK is receiving over half a million applications, there has also been a surge in demand from non-Irish applicants in the US, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

It is no surprise that our passports were required. Ireland overtook the UK in the Passport Index this year to become the third most important passport in the world, alongside nations like the US, Norway and New Zealand.

Arton Capital’s interactive passport ranking tool (which categorizes 193 UN member countries and six territories) places the UK fourth in the ranking of power.

Ireland only requires a visa to enter 26 countries, while the UK requires a visa to enter 27 countries. The UAE tops the rankings of power, only requiring a visa to enter 18 countries.

Non-Irish applicants whose grandparents were born in Ireland or whose parents were Irish citizens at the time of their birth may apply to become Irish citizens through foreign birth registration.

There have been 15,000 applications so far this year, compared with 8,000 in 2016, the year of the UK’s Brexit vote.

Irish passport applications for people born outside of Ireland in the UK have increased from just over 51,400 in 2016 to over 90,800 this year to date.

U.S. applications soared to over 20,200 this year from over 14,600 so far, while Canadian applications have nearly doubled from just over 2,500 in 2016 to over 4,100 so far.

Since 2016 there has been an overall upward trend in applications from people born outside Ireland, with the number increasing from 112,000 in 2016 to nearly 180,000 this year to date, an increase of 60 per cent.

Ireland’s neutrality is also believed to be one of the reasons why citizenship is seen around the world as a valuable rite of passage.

In recent weeks, a US teacher named Timothy Morales, who found himself trapped in Kherson last March when the Russians entered the city, feared arrest because he was American.

When, after two months of occupation, an officer from the Russian Federal Security Service called his home in the bombed Ukrainian city, he said he was an Irishman who taught English in the city. The secret police left satisfied with his explanation.

Hrant Boghossian, co-founder of the Passport Index, said that a country’s foreign policy directly affects its people when they travel abroad.

“Ireland is known for being a neutral country in international relations. This undoubtedly improves the standing of his passport internationally – as few, if any, countries will have historical disputes or conflicts affecting relations with Ireland.

“Travellers from neutral countries like Ireland are trusted more and their passports get relatively more respect – hence less visa requirements.”

He said another key benefit of Irish citizenship is that the government here allows dual citizenship. “An Irish passport can be kept alongside a second passport which offers benefits that an Irish passport may not have. This is a hidden power that the passport possesses that other senior passports do not possess,” said Mr Boghossian.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irelands-passport-soars-up-the-power-rankings-42193586.html Ireland’s passport rises in power rankings

Fry Electronics Team

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