Indian Passport to Get New Look? Things You Need to Know

byDilip PrasadLast Updated: November 16, 2023
Indian Passport to Get New Look? Things You Need to Know

The Ministry of External Affairs of India (MEA) made amendments in 2018 to the Indian Passport. The changes were introduced with a view to make it easier to divide people into Emigration Check Required (ECR) or Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) categories. Indian citizens in the ECR category will have orange passports, while the ECNR ones will have blue passports. We will discuss colour change, different types of passports in India and more in this article.

Is the Govt Changing the Colors of Indian Passport?

The Ministry of External Affairs of India made changes to the passport colours. Now, the Indian passport is available to ECR categories in orange colour and remains blue for ECNR categories. Along with the colour change, removing the last page of the passport booklet was another significant change. The last page generally contains details on the name of the spouse, father, mother, address and their declaration of ECR or ECNR category. This page will now be left blank for the ECR category.

The Ministry of External Affairs announced the formation of a three-member committee comprising officials from MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This committee was assigned to look into the different issues that led to the difficulties in passport applications. These issues included cases where mothers or children have requested that the father’s name not be included in the passport. 

The changes by MEA were then introduced to make these immigration checks easier. As of now, the Indian passport is available in four colours, namely white, blue, maroon and orange.

To Whom Are the Changes Applicable?

The passport colour change applies to all the citizens belonging to the ECR and non-ECR categories. Here is who comes under these categories:

  • ECR Passport Category: ECR, or Emigration Check Required, is for Indians without a 10th-grade certificate, allowing them to work abroad. The new change of passport considers removing the address page from ECR passports to safeguard personal information. It is primarily done for ECR citizens who face mistreatment by foreign employers.
  • Non-ECR Passport Category: ECNR or Emigration Check Not Required is for individuals with sufficient education qualifications (10th pass) to travel worldwide without emigration clearance. The new passport changes won’t apply to non-ECR passport holders. They will continue to retain blue-covered passports, including the last page, on renewal.

A Glance into Various Passport Types

Are you still wondering how many types of passport in India are there? Besides the orange and blue passports mentioned above, there are other types of passports in India. These are:

  • Blue Passport: Also known as a P passport, it is generally issued to the general citizens of India planning to take business/leisure trips to foreign countries. This passport is for the general public who are not a government official. 
  • White Passport: A white passport in India is for Indian government officials, allowing them to travel abroad for official purposes. Generally, IAS officers utilise this white passport to travel abroad for work. 
  • Diplomatic Passport/ Maroon Passport: A diplomatic passport is for Indian citizens holding diplomatic status. This passport allows Indian government representatives to travel abroad to represent the country.
  • Orange Passport: As mentioned above, this passport is for Indian citizens without 10th-grade educational qualifications. These passport holders come under the ECR category. Their passport does not have the last address page, and they require an immigration check every time they take off for an overseas journey.

How to Apply for an Indian Passport?

Applying for any type of Indian passport requires following a set of steps. These are:

  • Go to the official online “Passport Seva” portal and log in with your existing credentials. However, you may have to register first if you are a new user.
  • Choose the “Fresh Passport/Passport Reissue” option and complete the application form.
  • Select the “Upload e-Form” option to submit your application.
  • Finally, click “Pay and Schedule Appointment” to complete the payment and book an appointment with passport consultants.

Once you perform all the steps above, you may have to visit the nearby regional passport office where you have fixed your appointment. Submit all the required documents and wait a few days for a police verification. After a successful verification, you will soon receive your passport.


The Ministry of External Affairs has introduced changes in the colour of the passport from blue to orange for the ECR category. At the same time, the ECNR category will continue to have a blue colour passport as applicable. Besides the colour change, the last page of the passport is also subject to change with respect to the ECR and ECNR categories.

Along with the orange passport, other types of passport in India are discussed above, like blue, white, maroon, etc. A meticulous understanding of all the types is important to assess the passport type applicable to you. Depending upon your eligibility for the type, you can adhere to the steps above and apply for a new passport accordingly.


Which type of passport booklet is the most common in India?

The blue passport is the most common passport among the other passport types. This passport is also referred to as a P-passport, regular or tourist passport.

What is the validity of an Indian passport?

An Indian passport is valid for at least 10 years from the issue date, no matter the type. The expiry of a passport is always mentioned in the passport.

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