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Diplomatic passport in India: Meaning, eligibility, and benefits

Team AckoFeb 14, 2024

Indian citizens who work for the Government are called Government Officials. Such high-ranking officials sometimes have to go on official trips from India to other countries. For such travellers, the Government offers a special type of passport known as a diplomatic passport. Read ahead for details related to a diplomatic passport in India.

Diplomatic passport in India

Contents

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What is a diplomatic passport in India?

A diplomatic passport in India is issued to specific individuals who hold a diplomatic title and visit other countries to fulfil their official duties. These are Type D passports which look distinctively different from normal passports. The cover of a diplomatic passport has a maroon cover instead of regular dark blue. 

Diplomatic passport eligibility requirements

The following criteria define who can apply for a diplomatic passport in India.

  • Officers working under the Branch A of the Indian Foreign Services

  • Selected officers working under the Branch B of the Indian Foreign Services

  • Officers working under the Ministry of External Affairs and in need of visiting abroad for official purposes

  • The daughter, son, spouse, official hostess, or parents of the eligible official (As recognised by the Ministry of External Affairs)

  • Individuals who hold the diplomatic status

  • An official appointed by the Indian Government for overseas trips

How to apply for a diplomatic passport

You need to submit your diplomatic passport application at the Consular, Passport and Visa (CVC) Division in New Delhi. However, it is also possible to apply for the same at one of the local passport offices. Here are the steps that will help you apply for a diplomatic passport.

Step 1: Visit the Passport Seva platform online to register yourself.

Step 2: Create your account and complete the login process.

Step 3: Choose the option named “Apply for Diplomatic/Official Passport”.

Step 4: Fill in the online application with accurate details such as your name, details of your family and more.

Step 5: Submit your application and click on “View/Print the Submitted Form”.

Step 6: Take the printout of your application along with other relevant documents to the Consular Office or a local Passport Office.

The authorities will conduct a verification process before issuing a diplomatic passport.

Documents required to get a diplomatic passport

Here are the documents you will need to submit along with your diplomatic passport application.

  • Official identification document (copy)

  • Official letter received from the Forwarding Officer

  • Copy of the Head of Office Certificate

  • Current original diplomatic/official passport (if available)

  • Original Surrender or Safe Custody Certificate (only if the original diplomatic passport is with the Ministry of External Affairs)

  • Original Cancellation Certificate (only if the Surrender Certificate or Safe Custody gets cancelled by the Ministry of External Affairs)

  • Undertaking issued by the applicant’s office (only if the applicant is going to retire within the next 6 months of submitting the application)

  • Form P1 and P1 (A)

  • Two passport-size photographs (white background)

Diplomatic passport benefits

A diplomatic or official passport lends a special status to the holders. They receive a hassle-free experience while travelling overseas. Here are some of the major benefits of a diplomatic passport you should know about.

  • Special treatment while travelling and separate airport channels 

  • No delays due to time-consuming passenger checks while boarding

  • Special treatment upon reaching the foreign land

  • Cheaper or no visa fees

  • No need to worry about immigration inquiries

Difference between a diplomatic and a normal passport

These are the key differences between diplomatic and normal passports.

Parameter

Normal passport benefits

Diplomatic passport benefits

Issuance

Granted to VIPs and general citizens (30 to 60 pages).

Granted to high-ranking government officials (28 pages). 

Validity

Adults receive the passport with 10 years of validity, while minors receive it with 5 years of validity.

Issued with 5 or lesser years of validity.

Purpose

Used for foreign trips for personal as well as business purposes.

Used for official government-associated foreign trips.

Can I apply for an ordinary passport while holding a diplomatic passport?

You can apply for an ordinary passport while holding a diplomatic passport in India. However, you must disclose this information at the time of an ordinary passport application to avoid a penalty of Rs. 500.

Documents required for an ordinary passport while holding a diplomatic passport

In general, you only need three different types of documents to apply for a regular passport while holding a diplomatic passport. Here is a list of the different kinds of documents you can give from each cohort:

Main documents

  • Surrender certificate or cancellation of diplomatic passport.

  • If surrender certificate is not there, show the cancelled passport with a letter mentioning the reasons.

For acceptable address proof documents:

  • Employer certificate from a reputable company

  • Utility bills (water/telephone/electricity)

  • Income tax assessment order

  • Bank account statement 

  • Voter ID card

  • Gas connection bill

  • Spouses can use a copy of the spouse's passport (1st and last page with family details) if their current address matches.

  • Minors can provide copies of their parents' passports.

For acceptable date of birth proof documents:

  • An official birth certificate from the city or a government office.

  • High school diploma (HSLC), secondary school diploma (SSLC), or diplomas from schools and boards that are recognised.

  • Affidavit sworn by a notary or magistrate in the specified format (Annexure A) for illiterate or semi-illiterate applicants (less than 5th class).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following are some of the commonly asked questions about a diplomatic passport.

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Can I apply for an ordinary passport while holding a diplomatic passport?

You can apply for an ordinary passport while holding a diplomatic passport in India. However, you must disclose this information at the time of ordinary passport application to avoid a penalty of Rs. 500.

How much does it cost to get a diplomatic passport in India?

There is no fee requested when you submit an application for a diplomatic passport.

How long does the diplomatic passport processing take after application submission?

The processing of a diplomatic passport takes about 3 to 5 days after application submission.

Where do I apply for a diplomatic passport in India?

The Consular, Passport and Visa Division (CVC) in New Delhi is usually the only place to take diplomatic passport applications. You can apply for a passport at the same place that provides services for your current address. 

For what do you use a diplomatic passport?

A diplomatic passport is used for official government business travel; it is not meant to be used for personal travel.

Who is given the diplomatic passport?

The government of India issues diplomatic passports to the following individuals:

  • Those whom the government appoints.

  • Those who hold a diplomat title.

Can a normal person apply for a diplomatic passport?

No, a normal person cannot apply for a diplomatic passport. 

Can an IPS officer get a diplomatic passport?

Yes, an IPS officer can apply for a diplomatic passport. 

Who is a diplomat?

A diplomat is someone who works for the government or for an intergovernmental or nongovernmental organisation to oversee international relations.

Is a diplomatic passport powerful?

Yes, a diplomatic passport is much faster than a normal passport and can get clearance from the immigration formalities easily.

Disclaimer: The above content is sourced from secondary sources on the internet and is meant for informational purposes only. It is subject to changes. It is recommended to take the help of an expert before making any related decision.

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