What Is Non-ECR Category In Passport? How to Apply in 4 Easy Steps?


What Is Non-ECR Category In Passport?  How to Apply in 4 Easy Steps?

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.

What is ECR & 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.

When is a Passport Classified under the Non-ECR category?

There are two ways to tell if you have a Non-ECR or ECNR passport. These are:

  • If you have a old passport (issued before Janurary 2007) and it does not hold an ECR stamp on page 3, it implies you have an ECNR passport.
  • For those with the new passport booklet (issues after Jan 2007), look for a stamp saying ‘Emigration Check Required’ right above the Father’s name on the last page. If there is no such stamp, your passport belongs to the Non-ECR category.

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.

Who is Eligible for a Non-ECR Passport?

The following individuals are eligible to get the Non-ECR passport:

  1. All individuals with educational qualification of matriculation (i.e., Class-X) and above. 
  2. Individuals who have worked abroad for 3 years (consecutively or in breaks, 
  3. Minor children (below 18 years), 
  4. Persons above 50 years, 
  5. Income taxpayers, earning income from Profits and Gains from Business & Profession (PGBP).

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. 


How to Know if I have an ECR or a non-ECR Passport?

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.

How to Change the Status of ECR Passport to Non-ECR?

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. 

Documents required for Non-ECR Passport

Given below are the documents required to apply for a Non-ECR passport:

For working professionals:

  1. 2 photocopies of college, Class-X, and XII passing certificates (self-attested)
  2. Valid address proof such as Voter ID, Ration card, electricity bill, employer ID, phone bill, lease agreement, etc.
  3. Copy of PAN card 
  4. Your current passport and the 2 photocopies for its last 4 pages and the first 4 pages.

Additional documents for persons above 50 years:

  1. Birth Certificate issued by the Municipal Authority or any office authorized to issue Birth and Death Certificates by the Registrar of Births & Deaths; OR
  2. School leaving certificate that you get after completing your schooling.

Income taxpayers earning income from PGBP:

  1. Proof of assessment of income tax and income tax payment receipt of the previous year
  2. Income Tax Return statement for the previous year duly stamped by income tax authorities 
  3. A copy of the PAN card
  4. NILL income tax return statement if are not eligible to pay income tax.

For your spouse and certificate signifying relation:

  1. An attested copy of the marriage certificate issued by the Marriage Registrar must be submitted.
  2. The spouse's name must be verified in the applicant's passport.

For dependent children:

  1. Birth Certificate issued by Municipal Authority or any office authorized to issue Birth Certificate by Registrar of Births and Deaths, OR
  2. School leaving certificate / Secondary School leaving certificate/ Certificate of Recognized Boards from the school last attended by your ward. 

Which Countries Require the 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:

  1. United Arab Emirates (UAE),
  2. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. Qatar,
  4. Oman,
  5. Kuwait,
  6. Bahrain,
  7. Malaysia,
  8. Libya,
  9. Jordan,
  10. Yemen,
  11. Sudan
  12. South Sudan
  13. Afghanistan,
  14. Indonesia,
  15. Syria,
  16. Lebanon,
  17. Thailand,
  18. Iraq, where Emigration is now banned 

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.

Why is a Passport Tagged as “Emigration Check Required”?

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. 

In addition to that, your abroad travel planning should be complete with the comprehensive Travel Insurance by Care Insurance. If you face any medical emergency during your stay abroad, an international travel insurance policy will save you from several financial and medical expenditures overseas. These may include passport loss, hospitalisation, and checked-in baggage loss. So, check out our travel plan to secure your journey today.

Disclaimer: Plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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