A passport isn’t just mandatory for people traveling abroad, it also acts as valid identity proof for citizens of India. There are three different types of passports available in India – a regular passport, an official passport, and a diplomatic passport.
Types of Indian Passports
The regular passport is categorized as Type P and can be issued to any Indian citizen wishing to travel abroad for studies, business trips or vacations, says an article by BankIndia. The validity of this type of passport is generally 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years. This type of passport has a blue-colored cover.
The official passport is classified as Type S and is only issued to people who are traveling abroad for official work and are representing the Indian Government outside the country. The cover of this type of passport is grey.
The diplomatic passport is a Type D passport and is issued only to Indian diplomats, members of parliament, statutory authorities and other high-ranking officers of the Indian government. This passport’s cover is maroon in color.
Moreover, the Indian passport booklet is available in two types, 36 pages, and 60 pages. Generally, the applicants get a passport with 36 pages. However, you can apply for a 60-page passport by paying applicable charges.
Difference between 36 pages and 60 pages Indian passport
When you are traveling abroad, you need to get visas, and entry and exit stamps on your passport booklet. The 36-page passport has only 33 usable pages for visas and stamps. You need to pay ₹1,000 for a 30-page passport.
However, a 60-page booklet has 57 usable pages and you need to pay ₹1,500 for this booklet. Both passport booklets are valid for 10 years and you need to get it renewed prior to expiry. The charges for the passport are subject to change. So, it is best to check the fee before applying for your Indian passport. You can access the details on the official Indian passport website.
And, remember that you need to apply for a new passport if you want to change any important details, such as name (in case you get married), address, add husband/wife’s name or if you want to remove the ECR stamp from your passport, says an article on Passport Help.
How to choose between 36 pages and 60 pages passport
Some countries, like Canada, the UK, USA, etc., take an entire page to issue their visa. While other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, just issue entry and exit stamps and not a visa stamp on your passport. Moreover, there are some countries, like Mexico and Canada, who only issue an entry stamp.
If you travel abroad frequently for trips or business meetings and conferences, it is wise to have the “jumbo passport” or 60-page booklet, which means you will have extra pages for the entry-exit stamps or visas. This will ensure that your passport is always ready to take you overseas!