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Maroon Passports In India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 19/04/2023

Indian passports issued to citizens come in four variants. There’s a regular passport (blue cover), a white passport (white cover), an ECR status passport (orange cover) and a Diplomatic passport (maroon cover). We’ll be discussing the diplomatic passport in this blog.

Types of Indian Passports - Who Gets Issued A Maroon Passport In India?

Marron passport has a maroon cover and is only issued to people holding diplomatic status in India, namely high-profile government officials and diplomats representing India abroad and high-ranking government officials, including those who work for The Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) departments.

This passport is printed in both Hindi and English. The maroon passport falls under the Non-ECR category. It is also referred to as a Type D passport.

White passports are only issued to Indian government officials travelling to represent India on official business. It is a Type S passport. They are also issued to people under the Indian Armed Forces stationed overseas.

Most regular Indian citizens will get issued a regular passport that has a navy blue cover. It allows them to travel overseas like a maroon passport, but with a few key differences.

People who get issued a maroon passport are:

  • All officers of the Indian Foreign Services and the Ministry of External Affairs (MoEA) who are on official business abroad.
  • People with diplomatic status.
  • Blood relations, spouses and other relatives dependent on officials that fit under categories one and two.
  • Officials appointed by the Indian government to perform official duties overseas.

Benefits Of Holding A Maroon Passport In India

Diplomats and other officials with this passport are afforded a unique status during their official trips. Many of the processes they undergo at the airport, like emigration processes and check-ins, differ from that of a regular passport holder.

Here are some benefits of being a diplomatic passport holder in India.

  • Their boarding and check-in process is more streamlined as they use different airport channels, rather than the ones used by regular passport holders.
  • They do not need to handle immigration-related questions or random passenger checks at the airport. This is also a result of them using different airport channels.
  • Any travelling expenses incurred while making use of this passport are tax-free.
  • Maroon passport holders do not require a visa to travel, regardless of how long they plan to stay in that foreign country.
  • Immigration processes are easier for diplomatic passport holders.
  • They also enjoy various diplomatic immunities in the country of visit.

The Application Process For A Maroon Passport

Anyone travelling abroad on behalf of the Indian government for official work purposes can apply for a maroon passport. Regular Indian citizens who are travelling for work purposes, however, can not apply for this.

Here is a step-by-step process on how to apply for a maroon passport online in India:

  1. Visit the Passport Seva official site.
  2. Click on the registration option and register for an account by filling in all the required details.
  3. You will get a confirmation email with a link to verify your account.
  4. Log in to the Passport Seva site.
  5. Click the “Apply for Diplomatic/Official Passport” on the home page.
  6. Fill in the online form with all the required details and click submit.
  7. After submitting the form, click the view/print submitted form option.

After this, take the printout of your application form with all your other documents to the Consular Office or the PSK/Passport Office on the day of your scheduled appointment.

Documents Required For A Maroon Passport

Here are the documents required when applying for a diplomatic passport:

Identity card, Official Request letter from the Forwarding Officer, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)/Political Clearance Certificate, Copy of the Certificate from Head Office A printed copy of the duly filled application form Current original diplomatic/official passport (if available) Other basic documents: Aadhar, PAN, etc.

  • Other documents needed if you do not have your diplomatic passport on hand:

  • Original Surrender or Safe Custody Certificate (in case the original diplomatic passport is with the Ministry of External Affairs).

  • An Original Cancellation Certificate (If the Surrender Certificate or Safe Custody gets cancelled by the Ministry of External Affairs).

The processing time for a diplomatic passport after application generally takes around 3 - 5 days. Note that, unlike a regular passport, no application fee needs to be paid after finishing the application process for a diplomatic passport.

Difference Between A Maroon Passport And A Navy Blue Passport

Since diplomatic passports are used only for official work purposes, they must be returned to their relevant agencies after completing their work. However, this is not necessary for regular passports.

Here are the key differences between a diplomatic passport and a regular Indian passport:

Parameters Diplomatic Passport (Maroon) Normal Passport (Navy Blue)
Issued To Granted to high-ranking government officials Regular Indian citizens who have the minimum educational qualification certificates/degree (10th pass)
Validity Is valid for five years or fewer Adults (18 years and above) - 10 years Minors (anyone under 18 years) - 5 years
Purpose Used only for official government work-related trips Used to travel overseas for personal and work purposes
Number Of Pages 28 Pages 30 - 60 Pages

Note that people holding a diplomatic passport can apply for a regular passport. Still, this information has to be disclosed at the time of application to avoid a ₹500 penalty/fine.

Conclusion

Diplomatic passports come with a lot of benefits. However, they are only used on official government, work-related trips. So a lot of diplomatic passport holders also have regular passports.

While maroon passport holders enjoy a range of benefits and immunities when travelling abroad, regular passport holders need to ensure all-round protection when visiting another country. This is where purchasing travel insurance is a good practice.

For example, suppose you lose your passport when overseas. Having an international travel insurance plan will help provide the coverage you need.

Tata AIG offers a range of travel insurance to suit your destination and the nature of your visit. Additionally, we provide quick, hassle-free and online travel insurance claim assistance for international and domestic claims processes.

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