Passport vs Diplomatic Passport: Difference and Comparison

Passports and diplomatic passports are both issued by government authorities. An ordinary passport is for citizens who wish to travel for vacation, study, and business, whereas a diplomatic passport is given to top-ranking government officials.


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Key Takeaways

  1. A passport is an official government document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality, allowing them to travel internationally. In contrast, a diplomatic passport is a special passport issued to diplomats and government officials for work-related travel.
  2. Diplomatic passports grant their holders certain privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, such as expedited immigration processes and, in some cases, visa-free travel.
  3. Both passports serve as proof of identity and nationality, but diplomatic passports offer additional benefits to facilitate the work of diplomats and government officials in foreign countries.

Passport vs Diplomatic Passport

The difference between a passport and a diplomatic passport is an ordinary passport is issued to any citizen. A diplomatic passport is only issued to the privileged.

Passport vs Diplomatic Passport

Ordinary Passports are a compilation of documents issued by the government to citizens. In this particular category, there is no special authorization for passports allowed.

The primary purpose of a passport is validation given to citizens, which consists of the bearer’s name and nationality. This identification document is mainly required during international travel.

Ministers of foreign affairs receive this diplomatic Passport—these passports are issued for people representing their homeland abroad for the benefit of countries’ progress. Government authorities appoint these diplomats; hence, they have a lot of privileges.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPassportDiplomatic Passport
TypeThis type of Passport is given to ordinary citizens, including VIPS personnel. Also known as Type P passport (P stands for personal). The significant difference is that these types of passports come in a 30- or 60-page booklet.These types of passports are primarily awarded to High ranking government officials. A diplomatic passport is a Type D passport (D stands for diplomatic). The main difference is that these passports are minor 28 pages booklet.
ColourThe colour of the regular Passport is Dark navy blue.The colour of the diplomatic Passport is Maroon.
Issuing authorityGovernment authorities.The ministry of foreign affairs issues it to high-level government officials, strictly on office duty only.
TenureThis Passport is commonly issued for ten years for elders and five years for children below five years. There is Compulsory renewal after five years for children and ten years for elders.Issued for five years or less depends on the position of a government authority.
UsageIdentity for the representation of the country, this Passport is used for travel, business, education, medical, and other private concerts and art shows.Identity for diplomats to attend congresses and conferences held by other countries diplomats.
PurposeThis Passport is solely used for the personal interests of travel. The involvement of the government is nil in these types of passports.This Passport is strictly for the benefit of the country. This validation is for the person who represents the government in other countries via international travel—complete involvement of the government.


What is Passport?

A passport is a standard travel document used by all countries around the globe. This document confirms the identity and nationality of an ordinary citizen.

In India or any other country, this Passport is issued by President to the citizens as proof of citizenship.

The Passport contains the standard information of a particular person, which involves name, date of birth, address, photo, and signature. These biometrics are very vital and helps citizen to get in touch with their respective countries embassy.

The process of application is relatively simple and requires a few easy steps. The individual needs to contact the government-approved local passport office with the following documents.

  1. Photo of the passbook of a current bank account.
  2. Proof of age (Birth certificate, school leaving certificate, Aadhar (for people born in INDIA, driving license or PAN)
  3. Proof of address (water bill, Electricity bill, Gas connection proof, Landline or post-paid mobile bill)

The above documents are for personal above 18 years of age. Passports for minors are issued based on parents’ or guardians’ address proof.

This meticulous process takes around 2-3 hours.

Once the process completion, clearance needs to be given by the government-appointed passport authority. Once the approver provides a green signal, the passport application goes to the local police authority in your area.

After police verification, a Passport is issued in 30-40 days. In India, there is a provision for Tatkal Passport.

If applying for tatkal, one can expedite the process and receive the Passport within 1 to 3 days.


What is Diplomatic Passport?

A diplomatic passport is the only type of Passport given to top-ranking government officials. Only the government elite receives this Passport for strictly official purposes rather than recreational activities.

Diplomatic Passports, in general, are rare applications issued only by the consular general of the passport office. The eligibility criteria are different for this unique Passport.

In India, it’s released to the following: –

  1. All Indian foreign service officials when travelling abroad on official duty.
  2. Selected ministers from the ministry of external affairs, picked and appointed by the Prime minister or President. These officials granted privileged rights.
  3. Kit and kin of diplomats, who are dependent on the officer. Near and dear, given only when a diplomat official accompanies them. (There are several clauses in this, spouses and children can be awarded this Passport under specific guidelines)

The process of applying for a diplomatic Passport is a sophisticated process that includes the submission of confidential data to the central government.

The stringent process requires submission of Form P-1, Form P-1 [a], attested photocopies, a safe custody certificate if the diplomat has an ordinary Passport, a letter of approval from the head authority, and a letter of recommendation from the ministry with attestation.

diplomatic passport

Main Differences Between Passport and Diplomatic Passport

  1. The citizen requires both passports to travel to another country from the homeland. These passports are unique identification of citizenship.
  2. The benefits are different between these two passports. Ordinary passport holders need to pay a particular fee to acquire a visa. In contrast, the diplomatic passport holder has free permits to any country and sometimes visa-free travel when duty calls.
  3. Ordinary passport holder needs to clear immigration; standing in long queues is required. At the same time, diplomatic passport holders can head through customs lines without any interference.
  4. Passport holders have no exemption of taxes, whether it is airport tax- or duty-free tax. The diplomatic passport holder is not liable for any government-imposed taxes on travel.
  5. Ordinary passport holders are not allowed to possess confidential government-related information while travelling. The airport authorities will strictly confiscate these practices. On the contrary, diplomatic passport holders can carry sensitive details without any explanation to the airport authority.
Difference Between Passport and Diplomatic Passport
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