We all wish to possess the world’s most exclusive passport. Don’t we?

A passport is a key through the doorway to the rest of the world. According to Travel and Leisure, The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Catholic order whose sovereignty was recognised by Pope Paschal in 1113, is in possession of the world’s most VIP travel document. Only 500 of these rare passports are currently in circulation. Those who have one are able to visit 106 states visa-free because of diplomatic relations. However, even if you don’t have diplomatic facilities that doesn’t mean you can’t get your powerful passports.

There are some who simply collect passports like they would any other status symbol, from cars to summer homes. It shows that one has reached a certain financial level that allows them to invest in a second citizenship.

In fact, turns out that money doesn’t just buy a glamorous vacation in the Caribbean or a wonderful suite in Paris – it can buy residency too. The world’s most elite travelers don’t bother standing in line at immigration counters. Instead, they might prefer to enlist in citizenship by investment programs (CIPs), where investing in a country’s economy can grant easy access to more powerful passports. Most of the individuals making these types of investments are high net-worth entrepreneurs with net worths of about $2- to $15 million. CIPs range from $100,000 in the island of Dominica to a minimum of $2.15 million in Cyprus – and the best passports, in terms of mobility, tend to be the most expensive. Cyprus is among the most expensive for a number of reasons and  gives the right to live in Europe, which is considered to be of high value.

The upsides of CIPs provide economic support for capital-starved countries and personal perks for investors. But they’re not without controversy. Kate Hooper, an associate policy analyst at the Washington DC-based think tank Migration Policy Institute’s International Program, says the mixed reception of these programs involves a government’s commitment to tracing income sources. “The exact due diligence procedures tend not to be publicly disclosed, and numerous reports have raised concerns about how effective these processes actually are at screening people and rooting out dirty money,” says Hooper.

Billionaires and business travelers alike need the ability to be highly mobile and not be restricted by requesting visas to all the countries that they need to travel to. That’s why The Henley Passport Index has updated its Global Mobility Report that examines the power of each nation’s passport. Ranking the most to the least powerful, it also delivers an in-depth look at mobility trends around the world examining which countries you can visit without a visa, or if you need one with which type of visa, as well as how passports have changed over the last 14 years, how they compare globally and why your passport has the level of access it does.

Based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) (the world’s largest database of travel information) and backed up by significant in-house research, it reveals that the world kicks off the 21st century’s third decade with Japan’s passport occupying the number one spot for the third year running.  The remainder of the top ten is taken by European countries, with the first non-European or Asian nation being the USA at eighth spot alongside the UK. This Asian domination of the top spots is, according to Henley & Partners chairman and inventor of the passport index concept Dr Christian H Kaelin, “a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements.”

Below, the top ten rankings for the world’s most powerful passports in 2020:

1. Japan: 191

2. Singapore: 190

3. South Korea: 189

3. Germany: 189

4. Italy: 188

4. Finland: 188

5. Spain: 187

5. Luxembourg: 187

5. Denmark: 187

6. Sweden: 186

6. France: 186

7. Switzerland: 185

7. Portugal: 185

7. Netherlands: 185

7. Ireland: 185

7. Austria: 185

8. United States: 184

8. United Kingdom: 184

8. Norway: 184

8.  Greece: 184

8. Belgium: 184

9. New Zealand: 183

9. Malta: 183

9. Czech Republic: 183

9. Canada: 183

9. Australia: 183

10. Slovakia: 181

10. Lithuania: 181

10. Hungary: 181