A passport is the #1 travel accessory alright. You really can’t go anywhere overseas without it, and while some passports are more powerful than others when it comes to visas, entries and clout, the rarest passport is one none of us will probably ever see, let alone actually have. That passport is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Never heard of it? That’s okay, it is after all, rare. So rare only THREE people can hold it at any one time. If you thought applying for a regular passport in your own country was tough, the process for getting one of these babies is more of a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” situation.
To get one you first of all have to be part of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is a Catholic order. Don’t be fooled by the name either, this passport isn’t from the sunny Mediterranean island but is from Rome, namely the orders headquarters in Palazzo Malta. You have to be pretty high in the ranks to score a passport, and only two are really up for grabs since the first goes to the Grand Master, who then holds it until they die as the position is elected for life. The second and third go to the Grand Commander, and the Grand Chancellor. It’s all very grand.
We know the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is sounding more holier than thou by the minute, but the order is actually a charitable organisation that offers worldwide medical aid and doesn’t have any owned territory, instead it has over 100 diplomatic relations with different states.
What are the perks of having this passport you ask? Well, actually none besides bragging rights. In fact, a lot of countries like United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand don’t accept this passport for travel! Despite being Catholic, even Europe doesn’t recognise the passport with only 12 of the 26 Schengen states welcoming them.
If becoming one of the three people to hold one sounds too hard, you can go for the next rarest passport and one level down which is the Diplomatic Sovereign Order of Malta passport. They’re slightly more common with around 500 being issued. Better get joining this select Catholic group!