What is a Diplomatic or Red Passport in India? Know its Purpose & Benefits

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What is a Diplomatic or Red Passport in India? Know its Purpose & Benefits

We all know that a passport is a principal document that authorizes an individual to travel abroad. However, you may be unaware of the fact that a passport has several categories based on its purpose and applicability. These types are identified through different colours attributed to the cover of their booklet. This article will shed light on the most elite category of passport, i.e. the Red Passport in India.   

But before digging into deep, let’s know the different categories of Indian Passports, and what is a diplomatic passport.

What is Diplomatic Passport?

The Indian Diplomatic Passport or Red passport is a type of Indian passport which is meant exclusively for the diplomats working in embassies and consuls. The red passport booklet has 28 pages.

The Indian diplomatic passport is sometimes referred to as the "Type D passport". Indicated by its dark red (maroon) colour, the diplomatic passport is reserved for the personnel working in the Indian Foreign Service (IFoS) department. The dark red coloured passport jacket mentions the words “diplomatic passport” written in caps in English and in Hindi.

Who Gets Red Passport in India?

As we already mentioned Red Passport is given to the diplomats, only a specific category of individuals who are supposed to travel overseas on official trip can apply for the Indian Diplomatic Passport.

Such individuals work as officials at embassies, high commissions and consulates and are often stationed abroad by the native government for diplomatic purposes.

What are the Benefits of a Red Passport in India?

An individual having a Red Passport in India enjoys certain privileges and advantages over regular (blue) passport holders. Here are some key Diplomatic Passport benefits:

  • High Esteem: The most esteemed privilege enjoyed by a red passport holder in India is s/he has diplomatic immunity. S/he is recognized as the “honorary consul”, i.e. a foreign dignitary by the host country’s authorities.
  • Visa-Free Travel: Being esteemed foreign dignitaries, the diplomats having Indian Diplomatic Passport are not asked for a visa during their visit abroad. This privilege is entitled only to such honorary consuls who possess the Diplomatic Passport in India.
  • Easy Access at Airports: While travelling by air, there are various diplomatic formalities required to fulfil that vary from country to country. However, a red passport holder can easily access diplomatic channels at various countries’ airports. This is why diplomats generally never face delays during clearances.
  • Diplomatic Vehicle: The diplomats bearing the Diplomatic Passport in India can access the free diplomatic vehicle. These vehicles bear special licence plates mentioning the letters “CC” or “CD”. While “CD” refers to corps diplomatique, denoting that the vehicle is registered for an embassy, “CC” refers to corps consulaire, signifying that the vehicle is registered to a consulate. Such vehicles are exempted from paying toll tax, interstate levies and even parking fees.
  • Exemption from Transportation Taxes: A diplomat with a red passport is a VIP in the host country and hence exempted from paying taxes applicable on air or land travel. This is why foreign diplomats enjoy cheap and swift international travel.

They also enjoy confident movement and activity internationally. The immigration inquiries at the airports are significantly reduced.

Procedure to Apply for the (Red) Diplomatic Passport

Here is the detailed procedure for application for the Diplomatic Passport in India:

  • Visit the Passport Seva Portal. Click on the “New User Registration” Tab.
  • On the new tab, fill in all your necessary details and captcha code in the given form and click “Submit”. Your login ID has been created.
  • Once again, visit the Passport Seva Portal and log in with your credentials.
  • Click the tab "Apply for Diplomatic/Official Passport".
  • The passport application form will open on the new window. 
  • Enter your State & District and all other applicant details in the form.
  • Finally, Click Submit.

Your online application for the red colour passport will be submitted to the Passport Office of your jurisdiction.

How to get the Red Colour Passport in India?

After successfully submitting your online application form for the red passport in India, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Login to the Passport Seva Portal; click the “View Saved/Submitted Applications” tab. 
  • Click on the "View/Print Submitted Form" link and take out the hard copy of your filled application form.
  • You must take this hard copy of your filled application form along with the supporting documents to the Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division, Patiala House, New Delhi. You may also visit your nearest Passport Office instead to submit your application manually. 
  • Upon verification of all your details, the government will issue you the Diplomatic (Red Colour) Passport.  

What are the Supporting Documents Required for a Red Passport?

Here are the supporting documents that you need to submit along with your application form for obtaining a red passport in India:

  • Official or Government Identity Card of the applicant
  • Official Duty Certificate issued by the Head of Office
  • Official Request Letter from your Forwarding Officer
  • Clearance Certificate from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)

How Long is the Validity of the Red Passport?

The diplomatic passport is valid for a period of 5 years.

Secure Your Important Document while Travelling! 

What if you lose your passport while travelling?

Don’t worry! We got you covered.

You can cover your trip against unforeseen circumstances by purchasing travel insurance from Care Health Insurance. In return you can get yourself covered for loss of important documents such as passport. In case of loss of passport or other travel documents, you can contact the Care Assistance Provider in India, who will provide you consular access to the Consulate or Embassy of the destination country.

Disclaimer: All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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