What Is A Passport?

Passport is an official document issued by the government of the country to the citizens who wish to travel abroad.  It enables the bearer to travel internationally and it also serves as a proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act of 1967. The Consular Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs are responsible for issuing Indian Passports on demand and it also functions as the central passport organization. In India passport is issued at 37 locations and at 162 Indian diplomatic missions.

Types of passport:

Three types of the passport are issued by the Indian Government to its citizens. They are:

1. Regular passport: This passport has navy blue color cover and is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years. It is issued to an ordinary citizen for ordinary travel such as vacation, study or business trip. It can be of 36 or 60 pages. It is a “type P” passport where P stands for personal.

2. Diplomatic Passport: This passport has a maroon color cover and is issued to the members of the national government, judiciary, statutory authorities, diplomats, official couriers and any other person specially authorized by the government. It is a “type D” passport where D stands for diplomatic.

3. Official Passport: This passport is white or gray in color and is issued to officials who represent the Indian Government on official business trips. It is a “type S” where S stands for service.

Three types of passport

Validity of Passport:

The Indian passport issued by the Government of India is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. When a new passport is issued, the older one is canceled and returned back to the holder. The expiry date is denoted by the term “Final” or by the letter “F”. The passport cannot be renewed even one year before the date of expiration.

Passport Holder Identity

The basic Indian passport is navy blue in color and has the emblem of India in golden cover emblazoned in the center of the front cover. The word “passport” is written in both Hindi and English above the emblem whereas the “Republic of India” is written below the emblem again in both Hindi and English. The opening cover has the following information of the applicant.

  • Type (‘P’- Stands for “Personal”, ‘D’- Stands for “Diplomatic”, ‘S’- Stands for “Service”)
  • Country code
  • Passport number
  • Surname
  • Given name(s)
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Place of issue
  • Date of issue
  • Date of expiry
  • Photo of passport holder
  • Signature of the passport holder
  • The information page ends with the Machine Readable Passport Zone

The closing end of the cover has the following information.

  • Name of father or legal guardian
  • Name of mother
  • Name of spouse
  • Address
  • Old passport number
  • File number

Benefits of passport

  1. Photo Identification: Passports are an excellent form of photo identification and identity proof. Passport is an acceptable substitute for photo identification if you don’t have your driving license. You can even open a bank account using it and also get a loan.
  2. Indian passport holders can even travel to many other countries without a passport and in some countries can get the visa on arrival. List of countries you can travel to with passport and without a visa are:
  • Bhutan
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • Macau
  • Nepal
  • Antarctica
  • Seychelles
  • FYRO Macedonia
  • Svalbard
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Kitts & Nevis
  • Vincent & Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • El Salvador
  • Ecuador
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Micronesia
  • Niue
  • Samoa
  • Vanuatu
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Iraq (Basra)
  • Jordan
  • Comoros Is.
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Cape Verde
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Sao Tome & Principe
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Georgia
  • Tajikistan
  • Lucia
  • Nicaragua
  • Bolivia
  • Guyana
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Tuvalu

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