Your passport is the first and foremost credential you require when traveling abroad. It is a government-issued document that certifies your identity and nationality. Government officials need many personal details, like age, educational background, criminal records, etc., before authorizing a foreign visit.
The government has categorized the Indian passport into ECR and Non-ECR passport, wherein ECR stands for ‘Emergency Check Required’. ’The embassies receive various queries regarding the ‘ECR and Non-ECR Passport Category’.
This article will elaborate on the meaning and significance of the ECR passport and how to get the Non-ECR category in passport.
ECR Category: “Emigration Check Required,” or ECR, is a category of Indian passports required by Indian residents for employment purposes in specific countries. If you want to travel to these specified countries for a work opportunity, you must obtain an Emigration Clearance from the Office of the Protector of Emigrants (POE) as per the provisions of the Emigration Act 1983.
Non-ECR Category: Non-ECR Category In Passport denotes that your passport does not require Emigration Clearance while traveling to a particular country.
There are two ways to tell if you have a Non-ECR or ECNR passport. These are:
Overall, you need to check your passsport for any ECR stamp or status. If you don’t find any, you have a Non-ECR passport.
The following individuals are eligible to get the Non-ECR passport:
However, people involved in professions notified by the Protectors of Emigrants (POE), such as nurses and paramedical staff, require emigration clearance regardless of their educational background. Besides, those travelling to the 18 countries scheduled by the BoI require emigration clearance.
The old type of ECR passport booklets used to bear the ECR stamp on page 3. However, in the new type of passport booklet, on the last page of the booklet, if “Emigration Check Required” is printed just above the Name of Father / Legal Guardian column, it suggests that your passport is ECR. if nothing is printed above your father’s name, it is undoubtedly a “non-ECR” passport.
The ECR or Non-ECR status on a passport has no legal implications if you want to apply for a travel VISA and travel abroad. However, if you apply for a work VISA to any of the 18 scheduled countries, the ECR status will be a matter of concern. Besides, if your educational qualification is above matriculation and your passport category is ECR, you must change your passport to the non-ECR category to work abroad.
Nevertheless, it might be possible for your passport to bear the ECR stamp despite it not being applicable. Such a case may happen due to a lack of documentation from your end, due to which you may have to face unnecessary questioning at the emigration office. Here is the detailed procedure to change the passport status from ECR to Non-ECR:
Visit the Passport Seva Portal: Log on to Passport Seva Portal and click the “miscellaneous service” tab to download the application.
Submit the Application: You must state the Emigration Check Required deletion request in the application with the proper reason.
Attach Required Documents: Prepare all the necessary documents and the current passport.
Visit the Nearest Passport Office: Go to the nearest passport office and submit the form and the required documents, along with the government fee of Rs.300.
At the end of this procedure, your ECR-category passport will be successfully changed to the non-ECR type.
Given below are the documents required to apply for a Non-ECR passport:
As per the Bureau of Immigration, India, 18 scheduled countries require individual verification for the emigrants who carry ECR passports. These countries are listed below:
Note: If you are travelling to any countries besides those mentioned above, there will be no requirement for Emigration Check. Your passport will be classified as Non-ECR subject to the eligibility criteria specified above.
Individuals who seek employment abroad in the 18 countries listed above are given passports that contain an “Emigration Check Required” (ECR) stamp because they need to obtain emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) to travel to these countries for work.
The Emigration Act regulates the emigration of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers and confident professionals (i.e., professional degree holders), such as ‘Nurses,’ occasionally notified for employment abroad in 18 specified countries, including Saudi Arabia.
Without clearance from POE, workers cannot immigrate to the desired foreign countries.
To Sum Up
Thanks to the Indian government, the passport application process is now quite seamless and hassle-free. You can easily apply for a Non-ECR passport as discussed above.
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