Do you know that there are different types of passports in India? That’s right! The blue-covered document actually comes in various colours. These different types of passports in India serve different purposes and are significant according to their respective purpose. Their unique colour helps them to distinguish from each other.
People travel for various purposes: a new place to explore for a family vacation or trying to close that deal on a business trip, one of the most important documents for travel is the ‘passport’. One should have adequate knowledge about the different types of passports to plan their travel with the right information accordingly so as to avoid any problems.
Some passports also enable certain benefits, others do not. There are four different types of passports in India. Read below to know more about different types of passports in India as well as all the passport-related information that you must know.
Here are four different types of passports in India and their purpose:
These navy blue passports are given to ordinary Indian nationals to travel abroad for work or holiday. These are also known as ‘passport type P’. These types of passports in India serve the purpose of travel for leisure, business travel or educational purposes. \
It is held by the majority of the Indian population and helps the foreign authorities to distinguish between regular Indian nationals and government officials. The unique navy blue colour helps to identify the status of the traveller.
The passport carries information including traveller's name, birth date, and photograph along with other information required for immigration.
Travellers can also avail ordinary passports as Tatkal (urgent) or Short Validity Passport (SVP) based on their requirements. The Tatkal passports are issued within a few days by paying an additional fee.
The ordinary passport has the following benefits-
- You can travel visa-free to 57 countries on personal trips, business tours or educational excursions.
This is one of the most powerful passports in India. It is received only by Indian government officials. It is issued to the Indian officials who travel outside India for work. Due to its white colour, it becomes easier to identify government officials and provide them with respective treatment as such.
White passport benefits:
- The white passport holder enjoys easier immigration during travel.
- They receive special treatment as government officials of India.
Diplomat Passport or Official Passport
While the white passports are held by government officials, that is, the government employees who travel abroad to represent the nation, the diplomat passports are held by Indian diplomats or senior government officials of India.
It is important to distinguish between these two types of passports in India. The former is white in colour while the latter is maroon in colour. The diplomat passports are held by officials belonging to the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Administrative Services (IAS).
Diplomat passport has the following benefits:
- Owing to their status, these passport holders enjoy easier and faster immigration and custom formalities than other passport holders.
- They also receive special treatment as diplomat passport holders.
- They do not require a visa to travel outside India.
Differentiating between the colour of different types of passports in India may help one understand the formalities and eligibility required for each one of them.
The different types of passports in India also include an orange passport. This is a fairly new addition to the types of passports in India. It was launched by the Government of India in 2018 and it helps the foreign authorities to identify people who have not studied beyond Class 10.
It requires an additional ECR verification and emigration process. People who are not educationally qualified come under the ECR category and are required to adhere to the immigration standard procedure. The orange passport comes with a special stamp and the last page of the passport has been eliminated from it.
Orange passport has the following benefits:
- Orange passport protects the traveller from exploitation at foreign workplaces.
Apart from these, E-passports have recently been added to the list of different types of passports in India.
Diplomat passports have been converted to online or E-passports since 2008. The general public is also supposed to avail this facility from 2023. The E-passports have an embedded electronic chip which makes the immigration and security checks faster. The E-passports contains biometric information of the passport holder including iris print and photograph.
E-passport has the following benefits:
- Fast-tracks the immigration and security process
- The biometric data prevents scam, duplication or fraud.
- The E-passport is tamper-proof because of the embedded electronic chip.
Eligibility for Different Types of Passports in India
As each type of Indian passport is designated with a specific purpose, their eligibility is also unique to the purpose they play. Read more about the eligibility criteria of the various Indian passports:
- Ordinary Passport: Common traveller/general public is eligible for this passport. Any Indian national can apply to avail it.
- White Passport: Only Indian government officials are eligible to avail a white passport.
- Diplomat Passport: Only Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officials are eligible for a diplomat passport.
- Orange Passport: People who have not studied beyond class 10 are eligible for this passport. Children under 15 years of age can obtain this passport.
Documents Required for a New Passport
One must keep all the required documents handy while applying for a new Indian passport to avoid any difficulties during the application process. These documents include:
- Proof of address (aadhar card, electricity bills, bank account passbook, telephone/post-paid mobile bill, etc.)
- Proof of birth (birth certificate, voter’s ID, school transfer/leaving certificate, PAN card, etc.)
How to Apply for a New Passport?
The application process for a new passport is simple and convenient. One can apply for a new passport from the comfort of their home by logging in on the online Passport Seva portal and completing the application form using the following steps:
- Go to https://www.passportindia.gov.in/ and register as a new user. If you already have an account, log in as an existing user using your ID and password.
- Click on the ‘Fresh Passport/Passport re-issue’ and fill the required details. Verify the details twice before submitting the response
- Once the details have been entered, click on ‘Upload e-form’ to submit the online application form.
- After the form has been submitted, click on the ‘pay and schedule appointment button’ to pay the fee and schedule the passport appointment.
- Click on the ‘Print application receipt’ option to print the payment receipt which also carries your appointment number as a reference.
- Once your appointment has been scheduled, you will have to visit the Regional Passport Office for an interview on the scheduled date and time with the required documents.
- Following this, a police verification process will also be held to ensure the validity of the documents.
- Once all the criteria and verifications are met, the authorities will issue the passport.
Things to Remember While Applying For Passport
- The application process for a new passport can be time consuming. One should remain patient and present all the required documents for a smooth process.
- The passport is valid till 10 years from the date of issue.
- The passport should be renewed from the date of the expiry.
- In case the passport expires, one should apply for re-issuance of passport.
- If the expiration of the passport exceeds three years, the police verification needs to be done again.
Indian Passport Rank 2023
According to Henley Passport Index 2023, India secured 80th rank allowing visa-free entry in 57 countries. India has improved its rank from the previous year which was 87 among 199 different countries, yet the number of countries allowing visa-free travel from India remains unchanged.
Henley Passport Index is a ranking of passports of all the countries of the world according to the number of destinations their holders have access to without prior visa. The index has 199 countries and 277 travel destinations. India’s ranking has not remained static over the years. In 2014, India was ranked at 76th position with visa-free access to 52 countries and its ranking has dropped to 87th in 2023, however, with access to more countries.
According to the report, Singapore has the most powerful passport in the world with visa-free access to 192 travel destinations followed by the trio of Germany, Italy and Spain.
At Visa2fly, we thrive to impart knowledge regarding travel so as to ensure a seamless experience for Indian travellers who seek to explore the world. Visa2fly can also help you to plan and execute your next trip abroad by providing travel-related services including Passport Stamp, Visa, Travel Insurance, Hotel Bookings and much more. Our team of experts make sure to assist you during the process while addressing all your queries regarding overseas travel.
An informed traveller is a happy traveller! We hope we were able to address your queries or difficulties regarding Indian passport and its types.