Passports are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs to Indian citizens primarily for use as identification when traveling abroad. The main types of passports issued in India are:
(1) Ordinary Passport:
The ordinary passport is also known as passport type P. It is the most common type of passport. It is navy blue in color and is mainly issued to regular Indian citizens who want to travel abroad for leisure, work, business, or educational purposes.
Adult Ordinary passports are issued for 10 years and can be re-issued. A minor’s ordinary passport is issued if the child is below 18 years of age. The validity of ordinary passports for minors is five years or until they reach the age of 18, whichever is earlier. Ordinary passports are of two types: Regular and Tatkal.
(2) Diplomatic Passport:
A diplomatic passport is maroon in color and is also known as a Type D passport. The “D” in a Diplomatic passport stands for “diplomatic." Official passports are issued as e-passports since 2008. Such passports have a data chip embedded in them. Diplomatic passports are issued to the highest-ranking Indian Government officials, diplomatic representatives, Members of Parliament, Members of the Union Council of Ministers and their dependents. Officials like IAS, IFS and IPS can apply for diplomatic passports.
(3) Official Passport:
An official passport is white in color and is also known as a Type S passport. The “S” in the official passport stands for “service." Official passports are issued to government officials and representatives from India going abroad for official work/duty. It is also issued to members of the Indian Armed Forces who are stationed abroad.