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Types of Passports in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 23/01/2023

For many, a passport signifies freedom and adventure, a gateway to exploring the world beyond familiar borders. But before embarking on your international journey, choosing the right passport type is crucial.

With its diverse population and travel needs, India offers various passport options tailored to specific categories. This guide gets into the intricacies of these types, their eligibility requirements, application processes, and essential documents – empowering you to choose the passport that aligns perfectly with your travel aspirations.

Let’s understand the different passport types in India and their significance.

Different Passports in India - An Overview

Primarily, Indian passports fall under two broad categories:

1. Physical Passports: These traditional booklets come in four distinct colours, each signifying a specific purpose. The types of passport in India with colour are as follows:

Blue Passport (Ordinary Passport): This ubiquitous dark blue passport, also known as the Type P passport, caters to the general public for business, leisure, or personal travel.

Basically, a passport type P means it is open to all Indian citizens, regardless of age, profession, or educational background. This makes it the most accessible passport option.

This passport is valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for minors and is available in 36 or 60-page booklets, catering to different travel frequencies.

Orange Passport (Emigration Check Required Passport): Introduced in 2018, this orange passport in India is issued to individuals with educational qualifications below the 10th standard who require emigration clearance before departure.

This type is restricted to Indian citizens who haven't completed their 10th grade and intend to work or live abroad.

Also, it requires mandatory emigration clearance before departure, involving additional steps and potential delays compared to the blue passport.

White Passport (Official Passport): Designated by its white cover, this passport facilitates official travel for government servants on specific government business.

This one is issued solely to government servants deputed for official overseas work, not for personal travel.

Maroon Passport (Diplomatic Passport): This prestigious maroon passport grants diplomatic immunity and is reserved for high-profile government officials, diplomats, and their families.

This is limited to a select group, including ambassadors, high commissioners, and senior government officials representing India abroad.

Maroon passport holders are exempted from certain local laws and regulations in the host country. This diplomatic immunity, however, doesn't extend to all situations and is subject to international agreements.

Yellow Passport in India: It is a Certificate of Identity (CI) with a yellow cover issued to Tibetan refugees residing in India, hence the nickname "yellow passport."

  1. ePassports: Launched in 2023, these digital versions of the blue passport offer a contactless and secure travel experience. An ePassport is equipped with a chip that stores the holder's biometric information.

This enables digital identification of important details like name, date of birth, and more. As a result, this technology enhances the security and transparency of travel documentation.

Passport Types in India: Eligibility Criteria

Each passport category comes with its own eligibility criteria:

Blue Passport (Ordinary Passport):

Any Indian citizen can apply for a personal passport. An Indian citizen includes individuals falling into one of the following categories:

  • Indian citizen by birth

  • Citizen of India by descent

  • Citizens of India, by naturalisation

Orange Passport (Emigration Check Required Passport):

Indian citizens can apply for an Orange passport in India if they have not completed 10th grade or lack the necessary documents for SSC. Children below 15 years can obtain an ECR passport. Eligible individuals for emigration passports (Orange passport) include:

Individuals who worked overseas for 3 or more years, either at one time or over the 3 years

  • Minors under 18 years old

  • Adults over 50 years old

  • Individuals who pay income tax from regular professions or businesses

White Passport (Official Passport):

  • Indian government officials or individuals representing the Indian government are eligible for a white Type S passport. The application process for a white official passport differs from that of an ordinary blue passport.

  • An official service passport is issued to the following individuals:

  • Indian Government Officials

  • IAS Officials

  • Indian Police Service Department Officials

Maroon Passport (Diplomatic Passport):

  • The maroon diplomatic passport is available for the following individuals:

  • Officers from Indian Foreign Services (Branch A)

  • Officers from the Ministry of External Affairs and selected officers from the Indian Foreign Service (Branch B)

  • Officials with diplomatic status

  • Officials in the Government of India

  • Dependents of officials may obtain a diplomatic passport for studying or working outside their country of residence.

How to Apply for a Fresh Passport in India

To obtain a fresh passport or re-issue an existing one, applicants must complete the passport application form, which can be submitted online or offline.

Applicants may visit the Passport Office, Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), or District Passport Cell (DPC) for offline submissions.

Below are detailed steps to apply for different passports in India online:

Step 1: Visit the online portal of "Passport Seva" and click on the "New User Registration" link displayed on the homepage to initiate the registration process.

Step 2: Log in to the Passport Seva website using your Registered ID.

Step 3: Based on your requirement, select the "Apply for Passport/Re-issue of Passport" option from the portal.

Step 4: Complete the passport application form by providing all the necessary details, then click on the "Submit" option to proceed.

Step 5: Proceed to the "Pay and Schedule Appointment" link after submitting the application.

Note: Online payment is mandatory for booking an appointment at the Passport Seva Kendra.

Payment options available include:

  • Credit/Debit card (Visa/MasterCard)

  • Internet Banking (SBI, SBI-associate Banks, and Other Banks)

  • SBI Challan

Step 6: Upon successful payment, click on the "Print Application Receipt" link.

Note: The payment receipt contains the Application Reference Number (ARN).

Step 7: On the scheduled date, visit the Passport Office with all the original documents as per the requirements.

Also Read: Passport Renewal – A Complete Guide

Documents Required to Apply for a Passport in India

Typically, different passport categories or types of passports require different sets of documents.

However, here's a general overview to help you navigate the process:

Common Documents for All Passports:

Application Form: Duly filled and signed online application form.

Photographs: Photographs will be clicked by the officials present at the Passport Seva Kendra during your appointment.

Proof of Address: One document from any of the following categories:

  • Ration Card

  • Electricity Bill

  • Water Bill

  • Telephone Bill

  • Bank Account Statement

  • Aadhaar Card with address

  • Voter ID Card

  • Rent Agreement (notarised)

  • Letter from Employer (with address proof)

  • Proof of Date of Birth: One document from the following categories:

  • Birth Certificate

  • School Leaving Certificate

  • PAN Card

  • Aadhaar Card (with DOB)

  • Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by ECI

  • Proof of Identity: One document from any of the following categories:

  • Voter ID Card (EPIC)

  • PAN Card

  • Aadhaar Card

  • Driving Licence

  • Photo Passbook of Bank Account

  • Government Photo Identity Card

  • Admit Card issued by University/College/School

Additional Documents for Specific Passports:

  • Orange Passport (Emigration Check Required Passport):

  • Educational certificates proving qualification below the 10th standard.

  • White Passport (Official Passport):

  • Maroon Passport (Diplomatic Passport):

  • Appointment letter or identity card issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Passport Application Fees in India

Understanding passport application fees is crucial before embarking on your journey. The fee varies significantly depending on the passport category you apply for.

Here's a detailed breakdown of the charges associated with different passport types in India:

Blue Passport (Ordinary Passport): The most affordable option.

Orange Passport (Emigration Check Required Passport): Slightly higher fee than blue passport.

White Passport (Official Passport): The concerned ministry or department determines the fee.

Maroon Passport (Diplomatic Passport): No standard fee; the government bears the cost.

ePassport: Same fee as the corresponding physical passport (blue or orange).

Fees differ between fresh applications and renewals. Renewals are generally cheaper.

Opting for the faster "Tatkal" processing incurs a significantly higher fee than the normal process.

Passport Type Application Type Normal Processing Fee Tatkal Processing Fee* Number of Pages
Blue Passport Fresh ₹1,500 ₹3,500 36
₹2,000 ₹4,000 60
Renewal ₹1,000 ₹2,000 36/60
Orange Passport Fresh ₹3,000 ₹5,000 36
₹3,500 ₹5,500 60
Renewal ₹2,000 ₹4,000 36/60
*Subject to change

Factors to Consider Before Taking an International Trip

Now that you have secured or are about to receive your passport, planning an international trip requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. First and foremost, buying travel insurance is highly advisable as it provides coverage for unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and other travel-related mishaps. Hence, international travel insurance is a must!

Tata AIG stands out as a reliable choice for travel insurance due to its comprehensive coverage, like trip cancellation insurance, baggage loss coverage, emergency repatriation, responsive customer service, and a global assistance network.

Next, when planning your international trip, researching your destination's culture, customs, and local laws is essential to ensure respectful and compliant behaviour abroad.

Additionally, checking visa requirements, vaccination recommendations, and potential travel advisories issued by your government or international organisations is crucial for a hassle-free journey.

By considering these factors and investing in a reliable travel insurance plan from Tata AIG, you can confidently embark on your international adventure, knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected and well-equipped to handle any challenges that may arise.

Also Read: Loss of Passport Cover in Travel Insurance


Now you know how many types of passports in India are there, and this knowledge empowers you to choose the one that best aligns with your travel needs and eligibility. You can easily embark on your international journey by carefully considering the information provided, ensuring a smooth and secure travel experience.

Remember, a passport is not just a travel document; it's a symbol of your identity and connection to the world.


How long does it take to get an Indian passport?

Typically, the process of obtaining an Indian passport takes between 30 to 45 days from the date of application submission, provided that all required documents are filed correctly and the procedure is followed diligently.

However, individuals can opt for the Tatkal or emergency passport service for urgent situations, which expedites the process significantly. With Tatkal or emergency passports, applicants can expect to receive their passports within 2 to 3 days of application submission.

I do not have a school passing certificate. Which passport should I apply for?

For individuals with limited education, the recommended passport type to apply for is the Emigration Check Required (ECR) or Orange passport.

What is the validity of an Indian passport?

An Indian passport's validity depends on the passport holder's age at the issuance time. For individuals 15 years of age and above, the validity is generally 10 years from the date of issue. For minors below 15 years of age, the passport validity is limited to 5 years from the date of issue.

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