What is a Diplomatic Passport?

A Diplomatic passport is a passport which is issued to officials traveling internationally on official state or Government duty.

Diplomatic passports come with ‘Diplomatic immunity‘ which means officials cannot be prosecuted by a foreign country. Diplomatic status also extended to family members.

Diplomatic immunity applies only in the country where the diplomat is assigned. It is void in other countries.

The benefits of diplomatic passport include

  • Separate faster immigration queues at airport
  • No taxes
  • Simplified easy visa policy  (need diplomatic visa to visit some countries)

Diplomatic passports cannot be used for personal reasons or leisure trips. For example if an official from Singapore travels on Government duty to France, he can only use the diplomatic passport entering France, he must use ordinary passport when traveling on vacation to Italy.

Article 8 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations regarding the appointment of Diplomats

1. Members of the diplomatic staff of the mission should in principle be of the nationality of the sending State.

2. Members of the diplomatic staff of the mission may not be appointed from among persons having the nationality of the receiving State,except with the consent of that State which may be withdrawn at anytime.

3. The receiving State may reserve the same right with regard to nationals of a third State who are not also nationals of the sending State.

Foreign born persons who are citizens and working for Government can also hold Diplomatic passport upon appointment of Government, however this is quite rare.



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