A diplomatic passport is issued by a government for its diplomats. It is available only for diplomats and staff related to their foreign postings at the country’s embassy and consulate offices.
A diplomatic passport is a passport which is issued to someone who must travel internationally on official state business. Diplomatic passports are classically given to career diplomats (Ambassadors, consuls, attaches, etc.) when they are posted overseas, and they may be issued to other people within the government as well, depending on the circumstances. Diplomatic passports are usually a different color from other types of passports, making them very easy to identify; black is a classic color for diplomatic passports.
The diplomatic passport allows for easier and faster traveling as diplomats are not subject to the usual customs and immigration checks and often have their own lines when entering a country to avoid long lines and waiting. Many airports have a diplomats lounge reserved especially for diplomats, their staff, and government officials.
Children and spouses of diplomats are not issued diplomatic passports which can only be held by the actual diplomat.
Carrying a diplomatic passport does not automatically entitles someone to diplomatic immunity. Most persons with diplomatic immunity carry diplomatic passports, but that immunity only comes when the privilege of diplomatic status is granted by the country to which diplomatic status is claimed. It is not implied by having a diplomatic passport. In addition, having a diplomatic passport does not mean visa-free travel. Diplomatic passport holders must adhere to the same procedures when traveling to a foreign country, as are required to other nationals of his country, unless it is to the country where they have been granted diplomatic status.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) assures that third counties (other than host and home countries) must provide free access through their countries in order for the diplomat to travel between the foreign mission and the home country. In order to be afforded the rights and privileges under the VCDR, a diplomat or consular staff of the home country’s foreign mission must be recognized by the host country as such.
The holder of a diplomat’s passport has responsibilities to follow his country’s guidelines for when the passport can be used and under what circumstances. The diplomat must report the passport is stolen or lost to the nearest home country passport office and the sponsoring agency. The passport must be returned to the sponsoring agency when it is no longer required for official traveling or when transferring to another agency from the sponsoring one.
The sponsoring agency which issues the diplomat passport has the responsibility to ensure that all holders are made aware of the proper use of the passport and the penalties for violating its proper usage and that the passport must be securely stored when not in use. The sponsoring agency also must keep proper records of all diplomat passports which have been issued. When the holder is no longer qualified to hold the passport he or she must be informed to return the passport to the sponsoring agency. All employees who no longer work for the sponsoring agency must surrender their passport immediately.
Diplomatic passports are only to be used for official government business travel and not for holidays or conducting commercial activities.
Thanks to our connections with the local governments, we can assist with obtaining an official diplomatic passport in certain countries. For more information, please contact our offices.