There are several terms and rules associated with a passport that seems to be very complex for the masses due to use of abbreviations and varying mandatory requirements.
ECR/ECNR in Indian passport is one such issue. As this status can have major implications on employment application, people would generally rely on travel agents for ECR/ECNR issues.
However, if you would pay a little attention, you wouldn’t need any external help, can save a serious amount and of course, gain more confidence. So here are important FAQs answered regarding ECR/ECNR.
What is Emigration Clearance?
Emigration : The act of migrating to another country for employment. In simple words, a person who visits a foreign country for employment purpose is an Emigrant.
The Emigration Act 1983 makes it compulsory for specific categories of the Indian passport holders to have Emigration Clearance from POE office (Protector of Emigrants) for going to specific countries.
What are ECR and ECNR?
Indian passports are divided into 2 categories:
- ECR: Emigration Check Required
- ECNR: Emigration Check Not Required
If you are class 10th pass, then by default you are in the ECNR category.
But if you do not pass class 10 (when you declare your qualification in passport application), you will come under the ECR category.
For the ECR category, one stamp will be inside your passport and the Emigration Check Required written there.
How to check if ECR is required?
- If your passport is issued before January 2007 then no notation in the passport means ECR.
- If your passport is issued after January 2007 then no notation in the passport means ECNR.
Now new passports are being issued ECNR by default. So if you don’t see an ECR stamp in your passport, it means ECNR (Emigration Check not Required).
What is the use of ECR?
ECR safeguards the interest of the Indian citizens according to the relevant laws of foreign countries.
What are the countries requiring Emigration Clearance?
If your passport states ECR it means that you need the Emigration Clearance for the below mentioned countries:
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia KSA
- United Arab Emirates
For travelling to any country that is not in the above list the Emigration Clearance is not required irrespective of the Emigration status of your passport.
Are there any specific categories that don’t require Emigration Clearance?
The below categories, travelling to the above mentioned list of the countries doesn’t require Emigration Clearance:
- Diplomatic/official passport holds
- Government servants (Gazette)
- Individual Income Tax Payers : Evidence of Income Tax payments for past 3 years is required
- People having a professional degree in any of the professions including but not necessarily limited to doctors with MBBS degree, qualified engineers, CAs, scientists, teachers, journalists and lecturers
- Spouses or children (maximum age 24) of the 2 and 4the categories
- Seaman having CDC or Sea Cadets
- Desk Cadets having passed 3 years Bsc Nautical Science Courses
- People Possessing Permanent Immigration Visas like the UK Visa, USA (Green card) or Australia
- Person having required evidences of completing 2 years diploma from NCVT or SCVT recognized institutions. Alternatively a diploma/degree o 3 years from State Govt recognized polytechnics or similar institutes. Polytechnics is acceptable.
- Qualified nurses in possessions of certificates recognized under Indian Nursing Council Act 1947
- Passport Holders above 50 years
- People who have completed a total tenure of 3+ years in foreign countries either as a single or multiple trips
- The children below 18 years accompanied by their parent (s) ECR stamping could be done if necessary at the time of reissuing at 18 years
What is the process to remove ECR from passport?
If an applicant wants to permanently remove ECR from passport and he is qualified to do so (check the categories above), he needs to re-apply for fresh Indian passport.
Required documents are:
- Application in EAP- 2 Form
- Valid Original Passport + Copy
- Document of Eligibility (Document that proves you are eligible for ECNR)
- One Passport size photograph
- For NRIs, ID copy / Visa at country of residence may be required
You can also get Emigration grant from POE without applying for a new passport. However this is valid for limited time only.
What is the validity of Emigration grant?
The Emigration grants will be valid for 6 months and is applicable for specific categories of skilled/semi skilled workers through properly authorize recruiting agents. The passport holder should have a valid employment visa.
Is there any provision for a person visiting the foreign country for non-employment purpose?
If the objective of visiting foreign country is other than employment, the person can apply for suspension from emigration clearance for specified country that will be granted by protector of immigration.
The desired period should be clearly mentioned on the application. This temporary clearance will be valid for a single journey only.
What is the procedure of ECR suspension?
Following documents are required to receive ECR suspension:
- Application Form along with a fee of Rs. 400
- Original passport along with a copy
- Visa Photocopy
- Confirmed return travel tickets in photocopy
- Sponsorship declaration that has been attested by Indian mission Consulate (For Middle Eastern Countries)
- FTS is required for the countries other than Middle East Countries
- Address Proof
What is the procedure for obtaining emergency ECNR?
The immigration officers on international airports can allow the travelers for obtaining emergency ECNR in the following cases:
- Central/State Ministers, MLAs, MPs and other VUPS along with the family members accompanying the
Central and State Government Officers travelling with an ECNR passport or legally acceptable diplomatic/official passports along with the family member accompany them
- Students visiting foreign countries for higher studies (the same shall produce the acceptable documentary proof of admission in the specified country)
- Persons going abroad for demise purpose
- Persons visiting aboard country for medical treatment for serious health issue of themselves or relatives in foreign country it also include the injury by accident
- Sports persons having their foreign visit approved by ministry of youth affairs and sports International competitions, training coaching program, and representing their country
Does my child also need ECNR stamp?
All children who apply for separate passports will be granted endorsement of ECNR, provided their parents have the same endorsement on their own passports.
Note that since January 2007, all new passports are issued ECNR by default.
If the passport office has wrongly put the stamp, you can apply for amendment.