Every year, thousands of Indian workers move to several countries worldwide for better career prospects. Needless to say, besides other documents, a passport plays a determining role in ensuring entry to countries abroad. For instance, selected countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Afghanistan, Malaysia and many more, only allow Indians with passports of the non ECR category.
As per Government reports, till June 2023, starting from 2015, the e-Migration Portal issued almost 40,03,592 Emigration Clearance for 18 countries, which require Emigration Clearance Required (ECR). Thus, if you are planning to venture out of the country for work, you must be equipped with the information regarding non ECR passports.
What is the Non ECR Category in a Passport?
In India, a “Non-ECR” (Emigration Check Not Required) passport category is applicable to Indian passport holders who do not require emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) when traveling for employment to certain countries.
Indian passport holders who have completed their education beyond the 10th standard (i.e., those who have completed at least 10+2 or have higher educational qualifications) fall under the Non-ECR category. This includes individuals who have completed their graduation, post-graduation, or any other higher studies.
It’s important to note that the list of countries falling under the ECR (Emigration Check Required) category is periodically reviewed and updated by the Indian government. Therefore, before traveling abroad for employment, it’s advisable for passport holders to check the current emigration requirements for their intended destination and consult with the relevant authorities or the official website of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, to ensure they have the correct passport category and meet the necessary requirements for their specific travel plans.
How Do I Check Non ECR Status?
Usually, there are 3 ways in which you can check if your passport falls under the non ECR category or not. These are mentioned below:
- For old booklet-type passports, usually, the third page contains an ECR stamp. If no such stamp is there, you have a non ECR passport.
- If your passport does not have a non ECR status, you will see the ‘Emigration Check Required’ stamp above the ‘Name of the Father/Legal Guardian’ section on the last page of the new-type passports.
- The absence of an ECR stamp on the passport booklet confirms the non ECR status category in the passport.
In case your passport contains ECR status, you must apply to convert it into the non ECR one. For that reason, you need to go through a systematic process, starting with providing correct documents.
Also Read: Check Your Passport Application Status
List of Documents Required for Non ECR Passport
Following is the list of documents that individuals need to furnish before the Passport Issuing Authority (PIA) to obtain a non ECR passport:
|Non ECR Passport Types
|Official or diplomatic passport holders
|Only diplomatic passport
|Government gazetted servants (their spouses and dependant children):
|For the government-gazetted employees (any one of the following)
|Citizens having 10th-grade educational qualification or above
|Matriculation certificate or higher educational pass certificate
|Citizens aged above 50 years
|Children aged up to 18 years
|Income Tax Payers (their spouses and dependant children of 18 years of age)
For dependant children
|Citizens having vocational and diploma degrees
|Pass certificate of the respective courses
|Nurses with a relevant qualification (as per the Indian Nursing Council Act 1947)
|Professional degree holders (their spouses and dependant children)
|People staying abroad for more than 3 years and their spouses
|Written declaration mentioning the entry and exit date to India with the passport for authentication. Along with that, they need to present the following:
|Seamen possessing Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
|Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
|Citizens holding Permanent Immigration Visa (UK or USA or Australian Visas)
Note that the dependent children mentioned above refer to unmarried children aged below 18 years. Also, remember that if your passport has an ECR stamp, you need to convert it to a non ECR category mandatorily.
Hopefully, you are now aware of the non ECR category passport, its implications and everything related to it. However, if you have more specific queries, you can seek assistance from the Office of the Protector of Emigrants (POE). However, in all cases, whether you are travelling to ECR countries or not, your passport should ideally fall under the non ECR category. It will ascertain your international journey without any legal implications.