UPDATE (28 Nov 2018): The decision to make ECNR registration mandatory for Indians flying to these countries on employment visa has been postponed until further notice. The article below had been published on 22 Nov 2018 and does not reflect the update.
Senior officials at India’s Ministry of External Affairs has clarified that the online registration for ECNR passport holders is mandatory for all Indians working in 18 ECR countries – including those who are already employed.
Starting January 1, 2019, failure to do the registration will result in the off-loading of unregistered non-ECNR emigrants at all international airports across India.
The one-time registration can be done online at www.emigrate.gov.in. (Note: Emigrate website is not working since today morning).
Registration not required for spouses and children
Consul General of India to Dubai Vipul has clarified that dependents of Indian expatriates working in the UAE, such as spouses or children, need not register under the platform.
“If you are working in an ECR nation, and you have an employment visa stamped on your passport, you will have to register on the e-migrate platform. Spouses or children who have jobs, but are on a dependent visa, need not register on the platform,” he said.
- Expatriates travelling to India on a short holiday or an emergency trip are also required to complete the registration.
“The process does not take more than five minutes,” he explained while speaking to Khaleej Times.
According to a notice issued by the MEA on November 14, expatriates are required to complete the registration at least 24 hours prior to departure.
Indian mobile number required for registration
Since a one-time password (OTP) is required to complete the registration on the platform, expatriates are required to use an Indian mobile number to finish the formality. However the SIM card need not be registered under expatriate’s name.
Applicants have to furnish personal, visa and travel details, emergency contact details in India and destination country and contact details of foreign employer/sponsor in the destination country.
On successful completion of registration, the applicant will receive an Email/SMS which needs to be shown at airport.
One-time registration only
Speaking over phone from New Delhi, M.C. Luther, Joint Secretary for Overseas Employment and Protector General of Emigrants, clarified to Gulf News that only one-time registration is required as long as an Indian remains on the same company’s employment visa.
- It is not necessary to register every time one goes back home unless there is a change in visa.
- Registration must be completed on the eMigrate portal 24 hours prior to the date of travel.
Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) passport holders who change their passport status to ECNR after three years of overseas employment will also have to complete the ECNR registration.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, Luther said: “It is to obtain details such as who the employer is, their contact and address details and who we can reach in case of an emergency. The idea is to be able to reach them [applicants or their emergency contact]in India and abroad if there is a need for assistance.”
Registration is mandatory for Indians taking up jobs in 18 notified countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.
Those already working on employment visas in these countries will have to register when they visit India and fly back again.
Published on 22 November 2018, Updated on 28 November 2018