Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of passport.
Passport is a standard travel document used around the world that certifies identity and nationality of an individual. Indian passport is issued by order of the President of India to the citizens of India for the purpose of international travel. It enables the holder to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967). The passport will usually contain information about the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature and a clear photograph.
While majority features of passports are common within countries, there could be different types of passports serving different purposes. India issues 3 variations in passport as mentioned below.
- The Regular Indian Passport
- The Official Indian Passport
- The Diplomatic Indian Passport
Each of these different type of passport will be issued to people based on certain parameters. Following would give some idea on these criteria.
1. The Regular Indian Passport
This is usually issued to common citizens (and even VIPs). It is used for regular or ordinary travel on personal grounds. This is also called P-Type or Type P passport (where ‘P’ stands for personal). They normally come in a booklet form with either 36 or 60 pages. One can travel to other countries with this passport for various purposes like tourism, business, work, education, medical reasons, art and shows etc.
The Indian national emblem is embossed in the front of this type of passport with wordings in both Hindi and English that say ‘Passport’ and ‘Republic of India’. Color of this passport is dark ‘Navy Blue’.
2. The Official Indian Passport
This is typically issued to government employees who are travelling on national duty, usually to represent the country. Such passports are only issued to people who are traveling on official state business. This type of passport is also issued to individuals who are fully dependent on officials of the Indian Foreign Service (Branch A & B). There are no special privileges given to the holder of this passport. This is also called Type S (‘S’ stands for service) passport.
The Indian national emblem is embossed in the front of this type of passport with wordings in both Hindi and English that say ‘Passport’ and ‘Republic of India’. Color of this passport is ‘White’.
3. The Diplomatic Indian Passport
This is the most elite kind of passport which is given to top ranking government officials, consuls or top officials of the Indian Foreign Service travelling on official duty, or anyone who is sanctify with the status of a diplomat. Dependents of these individuals also get issued such kind of passport. This is also called Type D (‘D’ stand for diplomatic) passport. Please note that one doesn’t get diplomatic immunity just by carrying diplomatic passport, it has to be bestowed separately.
The Indian national emblem is embossed in the front of this type of passport with wordings in both Hindi and English that say ‘Passport’ and ‘Republic of India’. Color of this passport is ‘Maroon’.
One can apply for all three types of passports in almost similar way. Passport Seva Kendras (PSK’s) which handles passport related services are available in most of the tier 1 and tier 2 cities of India. The process of applying for passport in India is very simple and can be found here.
So, next time if you see someone with a different color passport, don’t report him/her as a person with false identity (or don’t get confused), they might be on an official purpose serving your country!