Types of Passports in India
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
An informed traveller ensures to mitigate risks when he/she travels. And for concerns outside of their control, there is always comprehensive travel insurance available. However, the first step to being an informed traveller is knowing the several essential components involved in travelling – and it all begins with documents. Most travellers are aware that international travel insurance and a valid Indian passport are essential travel documents. What many don’t know is that there are different types of passports in India. And your passport type plays an important role in determining crucial factors such as whether you are eligible for faster immigration clearance, if you can avail of the visa-free travel facility, etc. Let’s understand these different types of passports in India and their significance.
Passport Category in India
One of the easiest ways to identify different kinds of passports is to check your passport colour in India. The Indian passport colour reveals the nature of your passport to categorise travellers. Here are the different types of passports in India categorised by colour:
- Blue Passport
The blue passport, also known as the type P passport, is the one that is issued to the common citizens of India. Passport type P means “personal.” These passports are issued to regular travellers who are travelling abroad for business or leisure. For customs and immigration officials and other authorities overseas, passport type P means that an individual is a common man and not a government official of India holding a high rank.
- White Passport
White passport in India is exclusively issued to Indian Government officials who are travelling internationally for official purposes. In other words, the white passport is provided to those travellers who represent the Indian Government and are travelling officially. The customs and immigration officials can immediately identify the traveller with a white passport in India and can give them due treatment. Commonly, the white passport is held by IAS officers, the Indian Police Service Department, etc.
- Maroon Passport/Diplomatic Passport
The diplomatic passport in India is issued to those who hold diplomatic status within the country or to travellers who are journeying overseas on the official duty of the Government of India. The cover of this passport is a deep red (maroon) in colour. The maroon passport colour in India immediately categorises an individual as a Government representative who is journeying abroad (except for those who hold a white passport).
Amongst the extensive benefits available to diplomatic passport holders, a pertinent one includes visa-free travel. Additionally, regardless of the duration of their stay abroad, they need not apply for a visa for their trips which translates to a faster immigration process.
- *Orange Passport *
In 2018, the Government of India launched the orange passport sans the address page. These passports are designed for individuals who have not completed their education beyond 10th grade. Orange passport holders fall under the ECR category, which means that they need an immigration check every time they decide to journey overseas. These travellers need to meet the immigration criteria laid down by immigration officials for every international travel. The primary purpose of the orange passport was to ensure the protection of uneducated travellers when they travel internationally. So, just like a comprehensive travel insurance plan, the orange passport enhances the security of travellers journeying abroad.
Just as it is important to be informed about the benefits included in your international travel insurance, it is equally important to know about the types of passports in India. Knowing what each Indian passport colour represents can help understand the formalities that need to be fulfilled at the time of travel.
Eligibility Criteria for Different Passport Category in India
As can be determined from the information above, every passport type has a purpose designated to it and is issued to a certain category of travellers. Here is the eligibility for each traveller and the passport that is meant for them:
- Blue Passport: For the common traveller, i.e., the general public
- White Passport: Government officials
- Maroon/Diplomatic Passport: Senior government officials and Indian diplomats
- Orange Passport: Travellers who have not completed their education beyond 10th grade
The eligibility criteria are easy to understand. Let’s now take a look at the application process for each of these passports.
Application Process for a New Indian Passport
The online application for the passport is hassle-free and convenient, so each individual can apply for the same from the convenience of their home:
- Step-1: Visit the official website for Passport Seva and log in using your existing password and ID. First-time visitors will have to complete a registration process in the beginning.
- Step-2: From the tabs displayed, click on the one that reads “Fresh Passport/Passport Re-issue” and fill in the necessary details as requested by the application form.
- Step-3: Once all the details are rightly entered, click on the button that says “upload e-form” to submit your application form.
- Step-4: Finally, after submitting your form, click on “pay and schedule appointment” to schedule an appointment.
You can also choose to print the payment receipt, which includes your reference or appointment number, by clicking on the tab that says “print application receipt.”
Once you have completed the application process, you will be expected to visit the Regional Passport Office on the scheduled date with all the necessary documents. Following this appointment, you will have to complete the police verification process. Availing of a new passport is time-consuming, so it is advised to be prepared with all the documents and promptly complete the process at your end for a seamless experience.
Important Documents Needed for a New Passport
Before your scheduled passport appointment, ensure you keep all the below-mentioned documents ready:
Proof of address (aadhaar card, rent agreement, electricity bill, your bank account passbook, telephone/post-paid mobile bill, passport copy of your spouse, etc.)
Proof of birth date (birth certificate, voter’s ID, school transfer/leaving certificate, PAN card, etc.)
Your passport is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. The application to renew the passport should be made well within this time frame to ensure renewal before expiry. If your passport expires, you will have to apply for “re-issuance of passport”, and if the expiration date exceeds three years, the police verification will have to be redone.
Important Factors to Consider While Travelling
Before you make any international trip, it is important to ensure that all your documents are valid and well in place. As the passport is an essential travel document, you can protect it with your comprehensive travel insurance plan.
Your travel insurance can take care of a host of contingency situations when you travel so that you can make trips in a worry-free manner. For example, if you misplace your passport, you can simply raise a travel insurance claim and be reimbursed for obtaining a duplicate copy or a new passport.
Not only does a travel insurance plan secure your passport, but it also fortifies your trip against unfortunate eventualities such as trip curtailment/cancellation, medical and accidental emergencies, delayed flights, and more. The international travel insurance by Tata AIG ensures comprehensive protection for safe and worry-free travel.