Diplomatic Passport in India – How to Apply, Eligibility Criteria

byDilip PrasadLast Updated: October 11, 2023
Diplomatic Passport in India – How to Apply, Eligibility Criteria
Diplomatic Passport in India – How to Apply, Eligibility Criteria

Diplomatic passports are meant for government officials to aid them during their official trips to other parts of the world from India. It is issued for high-ranking officials who represent India abroad or have to travel to foreign countries for government work. 

Additionally, these passports confer a special status on the individuals who own them. Individuals owning it can be sure of a seamless overseas travel experience. They do not have to undergo any passenger checks or handle any immigration inquiries. The sections below highlight all the details related to diplomatic passports in India. So, keep reading.

What Is a Diplomatic Passport and Its Importance?

A diplomatic passport, also referred to as the type D passport, looks completely different than that of a regular passport. It has a maroon/ deep red cover with a ‘diplomatic passport’ imprinted on it in both Hindi and English, and the Indian emblem is printed right at the centre.

So, it is also referred to as the red passport in India as well. Having said that, a diplomatic passport bestows holders with manifold benefits. The passport holder receives special treatment throughout his or her journey and is allowed to access separate airport channels. Further, it becomes economical to travel to foreign countries as the travelling is devoid of any taxes. This document expedites the migration process and charges no visa fees. 

Who Can Obtain a Diplomatic Passport?

Besides knowing the diplomatic passport meaning, it is important to know who qualifies for it. Here are the details:

  • Individuals who hold diplomatic status.
  • Indian Government-appointed individuals for travelling to foreign countries for official business. 
  • Officers who are working under the Branch A and Branch B of the IFS (Indian Foreign Services). 
  • Relatives and immediate family members of officers employed in the Indian Foreign Service and the Ministry of External Affairs can obtain passports if they plan to travel overseas for purposes such as education, leisure, or business.
  • Individuals working under MEA (Ministry of External Affairs). 

How Do You Apply for a Diplomatic Passport?

The Consular of the Passport and Visa Division in New Delhi accepts diplomatic passport applications. However, one can also submit the passport application at the local passport office. 

Here are the following steps that will help an official acquire a diplomatic passport in India:

Step 1: Go to the Passport Seva Platform and complete the registration process. 

Step 2: Use the necessary credentials to create an account and get done with the login process. 

Step 3: Click on the “Apply for Diplomatic/Official Passport” tab and fill out the application form with details like name, family details, position, etc. 

Step 4: Submit the application and select the “View/Print the Submitted Form”.

Step 5: Now, take out the printout of the application and take it with the required documents to the local passport office or consular office. 

The concerned authorities will conduct a verification process. After that, the diplomatic passport will be issued. 

Also Read: Check Your Passport Application Status

Documents Required for Obtaining a Diplomatic Passport

Here is the list of documents that must be kept in order to obtain a diplomatic passport: 

  • Copy of official identification documents.
  • Copy of the filled-out application form. 
  • Current original passport (if available).
  • Photocopy of the head of office certificate.
  • Original cancellation certificate (this is needed only when the safe custody or surrender certificate gets cancelled by the Ministry of External Affairs).
  • Form P1 and P1 (A).
  • Original surrender and safe custody certificate (needed when the Ministry of External Affairs has the original diplomatic passport).
  • Undertaking generated by the office of the applicant (needed when the applicant will be retiring within the next six months after the submission of the application).
  • Two passport-sized photographs (white background), etc. 

Also Read: Police Verification for Passport

Differences between a regular passport and a diplomatic passport

Refer to the table below to get an idea about the difference between an ordinary passport and a diplomatic passport.


A diplomatic passport is an essential tool for Indian government officials and diplomats that aims to ease their journey to another country. The eligible individuals can reap numerous diplomatic passport benefits, like they will receive special treatment at the time they reach the foreign country, there will be absolutely no delay during the passenger checks, and more. However, to make the most of the benefits, it is vital to be aware of the application method and other related particularities.


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

Yes, one can apply for an ordinary passport even if they are in possession of a diplomatic passport. However, it is crucial to let the concerned authority know about this information. Otherwise, a penalty amount can be charged. The applicant will also have to keep the supporting documents like address proof, identification certificate, surrender certificate, NOC, etc.

How much time does it take for the diplomatic passport and ordinary passport to get processed?

Generally, the diplomatic passport application takes around 3 days to 5 days to get processed. On the other hand, it takes approximately 30 days to 45 days for the processing of an ordinary passport.

Can IAS officers get a diplomatic passport?

Yes, once the IAS officers are posted outside the country for diplomatic work, they can apply for diplomatic passports.

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