Diplomatic Passport

Diplomatic Passport

Diplomatic Passport


There are different types of passports that can be used for international travel. Diplomats and top-ranking government officials have a dedicated type of passport known as a diplomatic or official passport.

Definition of the diplomatic passport

A diplomatic passport is an identity document type held by a particular group of people. Typically, this type of passport is granted to high-rank government officials and diplomats who wish to travel overseas.

Possessing a diplomatic passport enables omitting plenty of travel regulations applicable to ordinary passport holders.

A diplomatic passport can be used if its holder plans to visit a certain country on official government business.

How to recognize a diplomatic passport

A diplomatic passport may look differently depedning on the issuing country. Most often, however, it is easy to recognize it based on the color and the statement ‘Diplomatic Passport’ on its cover.

The color may also differ depedning on the country of issue, for example, the official passport in India has a red color.

When crossing the border of a given country, officials can easily identify holders of diplomatic passports and offer them certain privileges, including faster entry to the country and no immigration checks.

Application for a diplomatic passport

A diplomatic passport cannot be obtained by anyone. Only those with diplomatic status as well as their family members can qualify for a diplomatic passport.

The requirements to apply for an official passport can vary from country to country. In general, holders of the following statuses can apply for a diplomatic passport:

  • parliament members
  • religious affairs heads
  • governors
  • admirals or generals
  • court members
  • former PMs and presidents

Family members

In the case that a diplomatic passport was issued to a diplomat, their family members can often be entitled to an official passport as well. It also depends on the country whether the diplomats’ family members can also qualify for this type of passport. Nevertheless, most often, the immediate family members also qualify for the diplomatic passport.

Benefits of holding a diplomatic passport

Holders of diplomatic passports in the world can enjoy plenty of benefits that facilitate their international journeys. Contrarily to regular passports, they can save plenty of time and effort when arriving in a foreign country. More benefits include:

Visa-free travel to a number of countries

One of the most essential benefits is the possibility to travel without limitations, including without a visa. Many countries offer visa-free entry to holders of diplomatic passports, which also significantly speeds up border control.

Legal immunity

A diplomatic passport gives legal immunity from any legal proceedings or lawsuits. It is worth noting that this immunity, however, applies to a limited extent and is at the total discretion of the visited country.

Tax-free travel

Diplomats traveling on official government business are exempt from tax requirements, no matter if they travel by land or air.

Tax-free income

One more benefit is tax-free earnings, as foreign diplomats can enjoy income tax exemption when working in a foreign country.

Diplomatic airport channels

Persons traveling with diplomatic passports are exempt from identity checks or bag searches, or any other airport protocol. This way, they can save plenty of time after arriving in the country of their destination, as they do not need to wait for their personal belongings or identity to be verified.

Special diplomatic license plates

Diplomatic passport holders also use special vehicle license plates so that they can be easily identified when driving.