ECR and Non ECR status in Passports
What is ECR and Non ECR in a Passport ???
Before we understand the terms ECR and Non ECR let us understand what the following terms Emigration and Immigration mean
Emigration is the act of leaving one’s native country with the intent to settle permanently or temporarily elsewhere in another Country.Immigration describes the movement of persons into one country from another. Both are acts of migration across national boundaries.
Indian Passport holders are either classified as Emigration Check Required(ECR) or Non ECR or the erstwhile Emigration Check Not Required(ECNR).The status is determined as per the rules of the Emigration Act, 1983.ECR/ECNR status on a passport denotes if the passport holder need or does not need emigration clearance for travelling to a specific list of countries listed by the Government of India only for work and employment.As per the act, passport holders with ECR status need to get emigration clearance or a ECR status suspension from Protector of Emigrants(POE) while travelling to the specific list of 18 countries for the purpose of work and employment. ECR checks are not required for purposes other than employment to these ECR countries
Eighteen Countries have been classified as ECR countries and require emigration clearance for employment.They are
Afghanistan/Bahrain/Brunei/Kuwait/Indonesia/Iraq/Jordan/Lebanon/Libya/Malaysia/Oman/Qatar/Sudan/Syria/Saudi Arabia/Thailand/United Arab Emirates/Yemen
It is learnt that Emigration to Iraq is banned according to the information provided on the website of Bureau of Immigration,Ministry of Home Affairs,Government of India
HOW TO CHECK ECR/ECNR STATUS IN THE PASSPORT
No endorsement or notation on the second page of the passport issued before Jan’07 denotes ECR status, which means that the passport holder should get emigration clearance before proceeding to the specified countries. Each time one has to travel to the listed the ECR status has to be suspended for a certain period and this is done by the Protector of Emigrants.
However , the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (Emigration Policy Division) have allowed ECR passport holders travelling abroad for purposes others than employment to leave the country on production of valid passport, valid visa and return ticket at the immigration counters at international airports in India w.e.f. 1st October 2007.
Emigration Clearance sticker shall be pasted by the POE office only if the individual having an Emigration Check Required (ECR) Passport, approaches POE office himself or through a Recruiting Agent. ECR Endorsements on the passports are stamped by the Regional Passport Officers.
No endorsement or notation on the second page of the passports issued on or after Jan’07 implies ECNR status, which means that your passport is already cleared for emigration. ECR status will be denoted on the passport only if you don’t fulfill the eligibility for ECNR status
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE NON ECR STATUS IN PASSPORTS
One can get the Non ECR status on the passport. Certain documents mentioned below help to get the exemption from Emigration Checks if even travelling to the above mentioned 18 countries.
ECNR EXEMPTION LIST
Passport holders exempted from emigration checks even while travelling to the above listed 18 countries when they fulfill one of the criteria listed below
◊Individual income tax payers(including Agricultural Income-Tax payees who submit last three years’ proof of assessment to income tax or IT returns. Employed individuals can submit the Form 16 for the last three years. Self-employed individuals or businessmen need to submit last three years’ tax clearance certificates.Spouses and dependent children below 18 years of age for all of the above are also included.
⇒Gazetted Government employees and their spouses and dependent children.
⇒Holder of Diplomatic and Official passports.
⇒All Professional degree holders,holding degrees like MBBS or equivalent degree in Homeopathy/Ayurveda, engineers, chartered accountants, accredited journalists, cost accountants, teachers, lecturers, advocates, scientists etc. and their spouses and dependent children.
⇒People who have passed at least matriculation–Completed and passed 10th Standard)
⇒Seamen with Continuous Discharge Certificate(CDC) or sea cadets, deck cadets who have graduated from the three years B.Sc. nautical Sciences Courses at T.S. Chanakya, Mumbai and those who have undergone three months pre-sea training in government-approved institutions like T.S. Chanakya, T.S. Rehman, T.S. Jawahar, MTI (SCI) and NIPM, Chennai, on production of ID cards issued by Shipping Master at Mumbai,Kolkata and Chennai
⇒Permanent immigration visa holders such as the visas of UK, USA and Australia
⇒Three years diploma/equivalent degree from institutions,such as Polytechnics recognized by the Central/State Governments of India
⇒Two years diploma holders from any institute recognized by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or State Council of Vocational Training (SCVT),.
⇒Certified nurses under Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
⇒People over the age of 50 years.
⇒People who have stayed abroad for more than three years, either continuously or broken and their spouses.
⇒Children under 18 years of age if accompanied by parents.