Overseas Indian Affairs Overseas Indian Affairs

Emigration Abroad for Employment

ECR/ECNR Status

Emigration Act, 1983 provides that no citizen of India shall migrate unless he obtains emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants. Similarly, it has been recognized that certain countries (currently 17) do not have strict laws regulating the entry and employment of foreign nationals. They also do not provide avenues for grievance redressal. Thus they have been categorized as Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries. Hence, all persons, having ECR endorsed passports and going to any of the 17 ECR countries for taking up employment require emigration clearance. However, ECR passport holders going to any ECR country for purposes other than employment do not require emigration clearance. No specific mention of ECNR is made on the passports and the ones not endorsed as ECR, automatically belong to ECNR category.

Abolition of ECRS

In order to get rid of the undue inconvenience and harassment to the passengers with ECR passports going abroad on tourist/visit visa, the ECR Suspension (ECRS) system has been abolished with effect from 1st October, 2007. Thus, person holding ECR/ECNR passports traveling on any type of visa to any of the exempt countries are not required to take clearance from the POE offices.

Offices of the Protectors of Emigrants under the Ministry of External Affairs, grant Emigration Clearance to the persons who are holding ECR passports and are going to any of the designated countries (ECR countries) on employment visa.

ECR passport holders going to any of the notified countries (ECR countries) on any visa other than employment visa, are allowed to travel on production of following documents at the Airport:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid visit/residence/study visa etc.
  • Return Ticket
Sr. No. Title Download
1 List of Exempt Countries List of Exempt Countries (259 KB)
2 Details of Indian Missions in ECR Countries Details of Indian Missions in ECR Countries (31 KB)
3 ECR Passport not Going for Employment ECR Passport not Going for Employment(88 KB)

Guidelines for Prospective Emigrants

  • Be sure of your Recruiting Agent. Ask him to show his Original Registration Certificate issued by the Protector General of Emigrants, Govt. of India. Do not deal with him unless he is registered and the registration is valid and is not suspended / cancelled. In case of doubt, check with any of the offices of the Protectors of Emigrants (POEs) or the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE).
  • DO NOT deal with sub-agents as they are not permitted under the Emigration Act, 1983 and Rules.
  • Ask the Recruiting Agent to show to you the Demand Letter and Power of Attorney from the foreign employer.
  • Also carefully go through the Employment Contract detailing the salary/wage levels and other service conditions.
  • DO NOT pay more than the equivalent of wages for forty five days as offered under the employment contract, subject to maximum of Rupees Twenty Thousand in respect of services provided and take a receipt of this payment.
  • Pay by Demand Draft or Cheque and obtain a receipt. Complaints of overcharging or cheating can be lodged with the concerned POE or with the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) or at OWRC.

Check before departure

  • Ensure you have a valid Passport at least for 06 months. A valid Visa must be either stamped on or accompany your Passport. Also ensure invariably that your VISA is for the same category for which you have been recruited. Always keep a photocopy of your Passport and Visa.
  • You must possess a copy of the Employment Contract singed by you and your foreign employer duly attested by the registered recruiting agent.
  • Insist on a copy of Employment Contract in English duly authenticated by the recruiting agent.
  • Open a Saving Bank N.R.E. Account in one of the Banks in India to enable you to send your remittances from abroad.
  • Acquaint yourself with local labor laws, working and living conditions of the country of employment. Keep with you complete address, phone, email of the Indian Embassy of the country which you are visiting.

In the country of your employment

  • Obtain a Resident Permit or Identity Card, Labor Card or IQUAMA.
  • DO NOT part with your Passport and copy of Employment Contract signed by you in India, at any cost.
  • DO NOT sign any other Employment Contract or any blank paper.
  • DO NOT strike work or resort to agitations. These are illegal under local labor laws.You could be arrested, imprisoned and also deported.
  • DO NOT carry with you any edible items, this may land you in jail, if any banned substance found in such edible items.
  • DO NOT carry any medicines without accompanying the prescriptions from a Doctor lesser
  • AVOID all contacts that may result in AIDS – a dreaded disease.
  • Keep in touch with the nearest Indian Mission and report any complaints about non-payment or delayed payment of wages or compensations or any other problem to the Indian Mission.

Customs Formalities

  • Personal baggage – Customs checking is VERY STRICT. Kindly co-operate with the Customs staff at the International Airport.
  • Ensure that you do not carry any narcotics or alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Its consumption is a serious offence attracting severe punishment.
  • DO NOT accept any unchecked parcel from any one. If you have to take a parcel for someone, check thoroughly that it does not contain alcohol or narcotics. Otherwise, it may land you in serious difficulties on arrival in the country of employment.

Precautions

  • You must make and keep a photocopy of all the pages of your Passport. DO NOT lose your Passport or its photocopy.
  • By chance if you misplace your Passport, inform the nearest Indian Mission immediately giving them details, i.e. Passport number, date and place of issue, your name and date of your entry in the country of employment. You can give these details only if you keep a photocopy of your Passport.
  • DO NOT lose your copy of Employment Contract. Make photocopies and keep them with you always.
  • You must have a full name, address, telephone/fax number of your foreign employer, before you leave India.
  • If you have difficulty in locating your foreign employer, contact the nearest Indian Mission immediately.
  • DO NOT accept temporary or permanent employment with another person or establishment other than that the sponsoring Company/ establishment/ person. Employment with persons other than your original sponsor is strictly prohibited and attracts severe punishment.
  • Before the Visa or Employment Contract expires, get them renewed. If you are returning to India for a short while during the tenure of your Employment Contract abroad, ensure that the validity period of Visa does not expire before you return to the country of employment.
  • Also ensure that your Passport is valid. At least two months before it is about to expire, get it revalidated from the concerned Indian Mission abroad or from the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in India.

Persons on whose passports ECR stamp would not be affixed (as per MEA - CPV - Division - Guidelines

  • All holders of Diplomatic / Official Passports.
  • All Gazetted Government servants.
  • All Income-tax payers (including Agricultural Income-tax payees) in their individual capacity.
  • All professional degree holders, such as Doctors holding M.B.B.S. degrees or Degrees in Ayurved or Homoeopathy; Accredited Journalists; Engineers; Chartered Accountants; Lecturers; Teachers; Scientists; Advocates etc.
  • Spouses and dependent children of category of persons listed from (2) to (4).
  • All persons having educational qualification of matriculation and above.
  • Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets, Desk Cadets (i) who have passed final examination of three year B.Sc. Nautical Sciences Courses at T.S. Chanakya, Mumbai; and (ii) who have undergone three months Pre-sea training at any of the Government approved Training Institutes such as T.S. Chanakya, T.S. Rehman, T.S. Jawahar, MTI (SCI) and NIPM, Chennai after production of identity cards issued by the Shipping Master, Mumbai/Calcutta/ Chennai.
  • Persons holding permanent immigration Visas, such as the visas of UK, USA and Australia.
  • Persons possessing two years’ diploma from any institute recognized by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or State Council of Vocational Training (SCVT) or persons holding three years’ diploma/equivalent degree from institutions like Polytechnics recognised by Central/State Governments.
  • Nurses possessing qualification recognised under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
  • All persons above the age of 50 years.
  • All persons who have been staying abroad for more than three years (the period of three years could be either in one stretch or broken) and their spouses.
  • All children upto the age of 18 years of age. (At the time of re-issue at the age of 18 years, ECR stamping shall be done, if applicable).

List of Countries Where Emigration Check is Required

Emigration clearance is required only for 17 countries namely Afganistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Indonesia, Kingdom of saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Libiya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.

A

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan

B

  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi

C

  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Cote d’lvoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic

D

  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic

E

  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia

F

  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France

G

  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana

H

  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary

I

  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy

J

  • Jamaica
  • Japan

K

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kyrgyzstan

L

  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg

M

  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar

N

  • Namibia
  • Nauru,Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Norway

P

  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal

R

  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis

S

  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa, San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

T

  • Tajikistan
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu

U

  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan

V

  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • VietNam
  • Vatican City

Z

  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

List of Countries to which Emigration is Banned

  • Anguilla

Advisory deployment of domestic workers to Kuwait

Emigration Suspension