Only 500 People in the World Own This Incredibly Rare Passport

And now we want one, too!

Yes, that’s right. Just 500 people have access to this incredibly rare passport—but could you be one of them one day? Possibly, but not likely.

First, you would need to become a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta. According to the Independent, members include over 13,500 knights, dames, and chaplains, plus 80,000 permanent volunteers and 25,000 employees. But only 500 members receive passports, and just one is issued for longer than five years. The Grand Master, its highest-ranking officer, holds a permanent passport from the Order.

The Sovereign Order of Malta says that it grants its coveted passports only to “the members of the Sovereign Council (the government), to heads and members of its Diplomatic Missions (as well as their consort and minor children), and—with very few exceptions—to senior figures in charge of a special missions within the Order of Malta.” But, despite its rarity, this passport will only come in one of the four passport colors around the world.

Currently active in 120 countries, the institution provides medical, social and humanitarian services to refugees and other people in need. Because the Order maintains diplomatic relations with 106 states, all of them accept the passports from travelers crossing their borders. As for the countries who don’t? You won’t get through customs in the United States, United Kingdom, or New Zealand with this passport in hand—you might want to think about having the most powerful passport in the world instead.

The passports comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and even include biometric features, Travel+Leisure reports. The Order keeps its own postage stamps and currency, too!

Alright, so it’s probably unlikely that you’ll be on the receiving end of one of these passports anytime soon. But, you should still brush up on these facts about your own passport in the meantime!

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.