If you’re traveling to foreign countries often, the worth of a passport is well-known to you. A passport is an essential travel document government of any country issues to their citizens as an identity and nationality proof of an individual.
In fact, it’s not just a document enabling a holder to travel internationally, but also certifies that the person has a valid identity as a citizen of a particular country.
However, in India, this powerful document allows Indian passport holders to visit different countries for various purposes such as education, business or tourism.
Passport Seva unit of Consular, Passport & Visa (CPV) under the Ministry of External Affairs offers passport services in India as per the Passport Act, 1967.
Though people are familiar with passport, there could be different types of passport in India serving distinct purposes to its bearer.
Some of these passports have more importance than others giving special abilities such as visa-free travel, faster immigration, etc.
So here are the 3 different types of passport in India you should know about:
Different types of passport in India
While almost all passport features are common everywhere in countries, different types of passport offer unique advantages. Indian passports come in 3 variations and will be issued based on certain criteria. They are:
The Regular Indian Passport
Or, ordinary passport with a navy blue cover which is a very common form of passport and issued to the general population and even VIPs. Most Indians hold a regular Indian Passport.
Although it does not provide any special privileges, it is used by the people for regular travel on self-interest like study, work, vacations or business trips. This is even known as a P-type passport, where P stands for “personal”.
You will get a booklet of 36 or 60 pages and is valid for ten years. One can renew it for another 10 years later at any passport office or Passport Seva Kendra.
The color of this passport is for the easy distinguishing among the common man and other official status passports.
The Official Indian Passport
Of the different types of Indian passport, there exists an official, white passport for government employees traveling abroad on official duties.
Individuals representing the Indian government are eligible for this official Indian passport. However, such a passport can also be issued to people who are fully dependent on officials of the Indian Foreign Service (Branch A & B).
Furthermore, there’s a special power enjoyed by the holder of this passport. In fact, the reason is to allow custom and immigration officers to identify a government officer and shall treat correctly.
It is the S-type passport, where S is a “service”. Members of a national government or any person authorized by the government are able to receive this passport.
To apply for an Official passport you have to choose the “Apply for Diplomatic/Official Passport” option while filling online passport application form at Passport Seva Online Portal.
The Diplomatic Indian Passport
Diplomatic Indian passport comes with a maroon cover and is generally given to Indian diplomats, top-ranking government officials or diplomatic couriers.
Such passport holders get several benefits while flying abroad and immigration become easier for them. It’s a Type D Passport where “D” is diplomatic.
Additionally, you are not required to have a visa for going to foreign if you’re eligible for this passport. The application is the same excluding some mandatory documents fulfilling the requirement to get a diplomatic passport.
Moreover, the Indian government has also planned to launch an orange passport for the people who have not studied beyond 10 and want to go outside country.
Though, the purpose was people who are not educationally qualified fall under ECR (immigration check required) category and issued an orange passport for airport checks.
However, the idea has been dropped following several protests and criticism. So these are the different types of passport in India. You can always apply for an Indian passport at any passport offices or passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or in a more convenient way see how to apply for a passport online in India.
featured image: thebetterindia