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Different types of passports in India: Complete Guide

Team AckoFeb 14, 2024

Indian passports are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India to Indian citizens, and are a proof of Indian citizenship according to the Passport Act (1967). Passports are issued by the Passport Seva (the Passport Services) office of the Consular, and Passport & Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. With an Indian passport, you can travel across the world on leisure or business trips. Indian passport holders can travel to several countries visa-free or with a visa on arrival. Other countries require you to apply for a pre-approved visa 

Different Types of Passports in India

There are 5 types of passports in India, including online or e-Passports. The majority of Indian citizens receive a dark blue Type P (personal) passport, while others may get an ECR passport. Government officials and diplomats are issued passports according to their travels and occupation. In this article, you'll learn more about the different passport types, and how to get an Indian passport according to the type you need, in this article.

Contents

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Different Types of Passports in India

There are two categories of Indian passports, which are digital or online ePassports, and offline or physical passports. In the physical passport category, there are 4 different types of passports in India, issued based on citizenship status, government work, diplomat status, and citizens who have not studied past 10th grade/class/standard. Indian passports are alloted different colours according to the type of travel status the passport holder has. This helps speed up and streamline immigration and security processes, especially for the orange emigration visa to safeguard the interests of travellers working overseas. 

Physical, Offline Passports 

Blue Personal Passport 

Letter: P, for Personal 

The blue passport is the ordinary passport, also known as type P. This passport is issued to Indian citizens and is blue to differentiate it from official passports. These passports are generally issued between 30 to 45 days. Indian passport holders can travel for leisure or business with an ordinary personal passport.

In the ordinary blue passport category, you can opt for a Tatkal (urgent) passport or a Short Validity Passport (SVP) based on your requirements. You can get a Tatkal passport within a few days by furnishing the required documents and paying an additional amount. 

White Service Passport

Letter: S, for Service 

White passports are official passports issued to people who work for the Indian government. Officials travelling outside India on official travel use the white passport. Individuals with white passports include IAS and Indian Police Service Department officials.

Orange Emigration Passport

The orange emigration passports help immigration officers identify and fast-track the emigration process for individuals who have not received formal education. An orange passport protects the holder from exploitation at overseas workplaces. 

The Indian Emigration Act of 1983 states that all Indian citizens need to get an "Emigration Clearance" before travelling. These countries include the UAE, Yemen, Thailand, Syria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei, Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar, Oman, Malaysia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. 

Letter: ECR, for Emigration Check Required 

The orange passports are ECR passports and were introduced in 2018. People who do not have a higher level of formal education use these passports, which do not have an address page.

Letter: ECNR, for Emigration Check Not Required

The Emigration Clearance Not Required (ECNR) passport is for individuals who have passed 10th grade with the academic qualifications necessary to travel on business or holiday trips. ECNR passports allow holders to travel worldwide without emigration clearance.

Maroon Diplomat Passport 

Letter: D for Diplomat The maroon passport is a diplomatic passport. This passport is issued to Indian diplomats, Members of Parliament, Union Council of Ministers, and government officials with high-ranking diplomatic couriers. High-ranking state-level Indian officials on official business may also request and apply for a diplomatic passport.

Online or e-Passports

Although all diplomatic passports have become e-passports since 2008, many Indian citizens will soon have access to online e-passports from 2023 onwards. These online e-passports have an electronic chip to fast-track immigration and security procedures.

What's special about an e-passport? 

  • You can clear immigration and security faster with an electronic passport.

  • E-passports have biometric data that foils scams, duplicates, and fraud attempts.

  • The e-Passport is tamper-proof thanks to the embedded security chip.

  • Your biometric e-Passport will include your biometric data, as well as your iris print and photograph.

Requirements for Passport Types in India

Personal Passport

Any Indian citizen can apply for a personal passport. An Indian citizen is anyone who can identify with any of the following categories:

  • Indian citizen by birth

  • Citizen of India by descent

  • Citizens of India, by neutralisation or naturalisation

Diplomatic Passport 

The following people can apply for the maroon diplomatic passport:

  • Officers from Indian Foreign Services (Branch A) 

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

  • Dependents, including 

    • parents

    • son or daughter

    • spouse

    • official hostess travelling with the official

  •  Officials with a diplomatic status

  • Officials on Government of India business

The official's dependents may obtain a diplomatic passport for studying, or working outside of their country of residence.

Personal Passport

Any Indian citizen can apply for a personal passport. An Indian citizen is anyone who can identify with any of the following categories:

  • Indian citizen by birth 

  • Citizen of India by descent 

  • Citizen of India by neutralisation or naturalisation

Emigration Passport

Indian citizens can apply for an Indian emigration passport if they have not completed 10th grade or have not completed but do not have the necessary documents for SSC. Children under 15 years old can immediately obtain an ECR passport. 

The following people are eligible for emigration passports (ECR and ECNR):

  • 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

Official Service Passport

Indian government officials or individuals representing the Indian government are eligible for a white Type S passport. Applying for a white official passport differs from applying for an ordinary blue passport. 

An official service passport is issued to the following people:

  • Indian Government Officials 

  • IAS Officials 

  • Indian Police Service Department Officials 

Documents Required to Apply for an Indian Passport

The passport application process is simple and straightforward. You can expect to receive your passport within 30-45 days from the time you schedule a passport office appointment, provided your documents are filed correctly and all application steps are followed. To apply for a passport, you will need to submit photocopies of official documents including address and age proof. 

Address Proof

Aadhaar card, utility bill, rent agreement, telephone/post-paid mobile bill, bank account passbook, spouse's passport copy

Proof of age

 

Aadhaar card, Birth Certificate, PAN card, Voter ID, Driver's licence 

Non-ECR (Emigration Check Not Required)

Documentary proof (if applicable) 

How to Apply for a Passport in India?

To apply for a passport online, follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Click on Passport Seva and register.

Step 2: Now, click ‘Fresh Passport/Passport Reissue.’

Step 3: Fill in the details.

Step 3: Next, click ‘Upload e-Form ’ and submit.

Step 4: Now, click ‘Pay and Schedule Appointment’ to fix an appointment and make the payment.

Once the payment is made, print the receipt and visit the Passport Seva Kendra or Regional Passport Office for the appointment.

Passport Application Fees

Application fees are the same across all types of passports. The passport application fees only differ when it comes to reissuing or requesting for a duplicate passport. 

Fresh/reissue of passport 

₹1500 

36 pages (standard size) with 10-year validity

Fresh/reissue of passport 

₹2000

60 pages, ('jumbo' size) with 10-year validity

First time applicant or renewal with expedited ('tatkal') service

₹3500

36 pages with 10-year validity.

First time applicant or renewal with expedited ('tatkal') service

₹4000

60 pages with 10-year validity

Fresh passport issuance for minors (below 18 years of age) with 5-year validity or till the minor attains the age of 18, whichever is earlier

₹1000 

-

Duplicate passport in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport

₹3000 

(36 pages)

Duplicate passport in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.

₹3500

(60 pages)

Frequently asked questions

FAQs

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Which type of passport should a person without formal education apply for?

People who don’t have any formal education can apply for an orange (ECR) Emigration Clearance Required passport.

Which type of passport should a person who has completed 10th grade apply for?

People who have completed their 10th grade can apply for an orange (ECNR) Emigration Clearance Not Required passport.

Who is Eligible for Different Types of Passports in India?

The table below shows the eligibility criteria for different types of Indian passports:

Different Types of Indian Passports and Who Can Apply

  • Blue: Regular Indian citizens

  • Maroon: Diplomats

  • White: Government Officials

  • Orange: ECR: People who have not finished schooling past the 10th grade. ECNR - People who have finished schooling past the 10th grade.

Where can I apply for an Indian passport? 

You can schedule an online appointment to apply for an Indian passport at the Passport Seva portal. Once you apply online, you will need to visit your closest Passport Seva office to complete the process. 

How many types of passports are issued in India? 

There are 5 types of passports, including the commonly used dark blue personal passport, diplomatic passport, service passport and emigration passport. 

How long does it take to get an Indian passport? 

You can expect to have your passport in hand within 30 to 45 days if you have filed the necessary documents and followed the correct procedure. Tatkal or emergency passports may be issued within 2 to 3 days. 

Is the application fee across different types of passports the same? 

The application fees are the same across all types of passports. Fees for application vary only according to reissue or duplicate copy status. 

What is a yellow Indian passport?

The yellow Indian passport in India is an identity card that is most commonly issued to Tibetans seeking refugee status in India.

Explore More:

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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