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ECR and ECNR in Indian Passport : Frequently Asked Questions

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:

If you are class 10th pass, then by default you are in ECNR category.

But if you do not pass class 10 (when you declare your qualification in passport application), you will come under ECR category.

For ECR category, one stamp will be inside your passport and Emigration Check Required written there.

How to check if ECR is required?

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.