Passport vs Diplomatic Passport – Difference and Comparison

What is Passport?

Passports are travel documents issued by sovereign states that entitle the bearer to enter another country and stay there for a specified period.

Passports must be issued on paper and contain essential information about the bearer, including photo, name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, nationality, and signature. A passport expires after 5 to 15 years, depending on the applicant’s citizenship status or passport type.

The United States passport symbolizes freedom and travel and is considered one of the most important documents a person can have. If a person loses their passport, they or must replace it immediately, or they will not be allowed into the destination country.

If you plan to travel outside your country and have no passport, you’ll want to apply for one. A passport allows you to travel internationally and helps prove your identity when you go through customs and immigration. It also allows you to access your country’s consular services.

To apply for a passport, you will need to meet specific requirements, including producing the following documents:

  1. Proof of citizenship (either an existing passport or birth certificate)
  2. Proof of identity (a government-issued photo ID)

What is a Diplomatic Passport?

A diplomatic passport is a document issued by a country’s foreign ministry to a person (a diplomat, foreign official, or visiting head of state) as evidence of their nationality and citizenship status.

A diplomat is a representative of his country to his host country. As a state representative, the diplomat is tasked to promote the interests of his state and protect its interests. His role mainly touches on economic, social, and political spheres.

Diplomatic passport holders enjoy a wide range of privileges and immunities. One of them is that they are exempt from local laws as they perform official and, sometimes, personal activities. They are also exempted from paying taxes on earnings outside the hosting country.

Additionally, they are not subject to time-consuming checks at airports, and the passport also allows you to meet top government officials of the host country, for example, during national celebration days. Another advantage of diplomatic passport holders is that they enjoy professional and social prestige.

Difference Between Passport and Diplomatic Passport

A diplomatic passport is a travel document, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, that permits the holder to travel freely within the territory of the issuing country and to other countries that recognize diplomatic immunities.

An ordinary passport is also a travel document. However, it is issued to ordinary citizens of a country as identification documents that allow them entry to other countries but have no special privileges.

Any citizen can apply for a passport, but only diplomats and top-ranking government officials can be given a diplomatic passport.

Comparison Between Passport and Diplomatic Passport

Parameter of ComparisonPassportDiplomatic Passport
HolderIt is issued to ordinary citizens.It is issued to diplomats and other high-standing officials of government.
CostOne has to pay a fee to get it.No fee is charged because the holders visit countries to represent their governments.
ColorIt is different from that of a diplomatic one.It differs from the normal one, and it varies from country to country.
PurposeFor personal travel to other countries.For performing government duties in other countries.
Type (classification)It is type ‘P’.It is type ‘D’.

References

  1. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=gYt6Kf7DtwgC&lpg=PP9&ots=oBNxrjbwbI&dq=passports%20and%20identity&lr&pg=PA23#v=onepage&q=passports%20and%20identity&f=false
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-011-8792-3_13