As per the Emigration Act,1983 certain categories of Indian Passport holders require to obtain “Emigration Clearance” from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE) for going to certain countries. As per the Emigration Act, “emigration” means the leaving of Indian citizen with the intent of taking up employment in a foreign country. All Ordinary Indian Passports are divided into two categories:
- Emigration Check Required – ECR Passport
- Non-Emigration Check Required – Non-ECR Passport
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Emigration Check Required
ECR refers to Emigration Check Required which is meant to protect illiterate workers emigrating to certain countries to protect them from unscrupulous employees. If you are in the ECR category then, ECR status will be printed on your passport. If you are subject to ECR, then you need an emigration clearance from Protector Of Emigrants(POE) to enter any of the following countries for employment:
- Iraq (Emigration is banned)
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- The United Arab Emirates
Documents Required for an ECR Passport Holder While Travelling
- Emigration Clearance Certificate approved by the POE office and Ministry of Overseas Indian Affair
- Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana Document
The Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana is a compulsory insurance scheme which was introduced in the year 2003, by the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This insurance scheme is compulsory for all the workers who are traveling abroad with the ECR passports that means it is mainly for the overseas worker (excluding the countries where the emigration certificate is not required) for employment purpose. This insurance scheme provides with a maximum sum of INR 10 lakh under the scheme which includes (hospitalization, maternity, attendant and legal expenses etc. The application amount is quite reasonable and affordable. For a validation of 2 years it is Rs 275/- and for 3 years it is Rs 375/-.
The premium with the benefits are detailed below:
*It also includes one-way economy airfare to India in case of repatriation due to Employer refusing to employ the worker.
Both of the documents are needed to be shown at the airport while traveling.
According to the Emigration Act in 1983, the ECR categories of Indian passport holders are required to obtain “Emigration Clearance” from the office of the Protector of the Emigrants (POE). The idea behind the ECR is to provide safety to the Indian citizens due to the legal conditions of other countries and is based on the various situations and conditions.
- Workers going abroad for employment need to get an Emigration Stamp before leaving India.
- A specially printed adhesive stamp will be pasted on the passport of workers going out for employment. Entries necessary for the grant of an emigration clearance will be made in these adhesive stamps.
- These stamps are signed by the Protector of Emigrants.
- Emigration clearance to the individuals shall be granted on the same day on which the application is made.
- Emigration clearance is granted for those who are semi-skilled workers for a period of 6 months when applying through authorized recruiting agents with a passport containing valid employment visa.
- If a person concerned is leaving the country for non-employment purposes, he can obtain a suspension of an emigration clearance for a specified country and for a specified period from the Protector of Emigrants.
- This clearance is temporary and is valid only for one journey.
The ECR Suspension is called as the temporary removal of the ECR passport seal and obtaining the Non-ECR status. The ECR suspension is only valid for a certain trip (only one time) to any one of the countries mentioned above. If an ECR passport holder graduates, then he/she can no longer use the ECR passport privilege. He/she has to apply for the non- ECR passport and extend the time period of staying there.
The documents needed to be submitted for ECR suspension are the following:
- ECR suspension application form- fill in the ECR Suspension form, make sure that this suspension is only applicable to the visits only.
- Application fee of 400/-
- Current Passport, original and copy
- Photocopy of Visa
- Photocopy of your confirmed return travel tickets
- For Middle-Eastern countries, submit a sponsorship declaration attested by the Indian Mission/Consulate.
- Address proof.
Submit all the required documents and fees at the Regional Passport Office.
Non-Emigration Check Required
The citizens who are not in the working age and those who are not illiterate or are well qualified educationally will fall under the category of ECNR (Emigration check not required). An applicant will be eligible if the applicant satisfies falling in any one of the following categories and provides the documentary proof.
- All holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports
- All Gazetted Government servants, their spouse and children
- Person having an educational qualification above matriculation
- Person older than 50 years of age
- Children up to age 18 years who are willing to obtain a short validity passport of 5 years will have to submit their documents to prove ECNR category, else ECR stamping will be done.
- Income tax payers in their individual category, their spouse, and children.
The following documents can also be submitted:
- Proof of assessment of income tax and actual payment of income tax for last one year or Income Tax return statement for last year that is stamped by income tax authorities and a copy of PAN card. Applicants submitting NIL income tax return statements are not eligible.
- A Person holding a 2 years of a diploma from any institute recognized by the National Council for Vocational Training or State Council.
- Nurses possessing qualifications recognized under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947
- All professional degree holders, their spouse, and children. Example MBBS degree, Engineers, Chartered Accountants, Scientists, Advocates etc.
- All person having stayed in abroad for more than 3 years.
- Sea-men who are in the possession of Continuous Discharge Certificate or Sea Cadets.
- Persons holding Permanent Immigration Visa or documents like Green Card, permanent Residence card etc.
If you don’t fall under this category mentioned above, then you will be issued an ECR passport.
Non-ECR Application Procedure
If you previously held an ECR Passport and now satisfies the conditions stated above, you can apply for an ECNR passport.
Steps for Applying for an ECNR category are as follows
- To apply for a cancellation of ECR stamp in the passport, the applicant is required to fill in a miscellaneous application from EAP-2. This application is to be submitted personally or through a representative (having an authority letter duly signed by the applicant as per the Annexure L or by the registered post.
- A small inclusive fee of 300/- is paid along with the submission of the application form either in cash or by bank draft in favor of Regional Passport Officer of your city.
- Valid passport in original
- Attested two photocopies of the proof that the applicant is entitled as an ECNR, as per mentioned above.
- Address proof
- Two photocopies of the first four and last four pages of the Passport.
- The Government is still trying his best to provide a maximum number of benefits to the ECR and non-ECR categorized people.