Different types of Indian passports and the benefits they offer
You must already be aware of the blue-colored passports, the type of passport available for common citizens of India. But there are other types of passports issued by the Indian government which come with special or no benefits. The color of your passport determines if you can get faster immigration clearance or not. Let's learn about the different types of passports in India.
What is a passport?
A passport is a piece of formal document which provides information about the passport holder's nationality. In India, passports are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. These documents are widely recognized for international travel purposes. However, merely possessing the passport does not entitle a traveler to enter any country other than the country of their residence, or, the country that issued it.
Regular or Type P Passport
Also known as the blue passport, this one is issued to the general citizens of India. These passports enable immigration and customs officials to differentiate them from other passports with official status. The general public uses this passport for routine travel, such as business trips or vacations. They include the passport holder's name, a photograph, and various other forms of identification for immigration checks.
Diplomatic passports are issued to Indian diplomats and senior government officials. These passports which are maroon in color, entitle the holder to various benefits during foreign tours. They enable the holder to get easy clearance from immigration formalities, much faster than those holding regular passports. Maroon passports are for any government representative planning a foreign trip except those having a white passport.
This type of passport is a new addition to the band of Indian passports. They were launched in 2018 and are designed mainly for people who don't have formal education beyond class 10. These fall under the ECR (Emigration Check Required) category. Unlike regular passports, these passports do not have a last page that mentions all the critical details of the holder.
Official or Type S Passport
This passport is issued only to Indian Government officials traveling outside the country for official purposes. Also called white passports, these are considered the most powerful passports. It makes it easy for the immigration authorities to identify the holder as a government official and offer them due treatment. In addition to the general rules and regulations, official passport holders also have some special powers.