What is emigration?

"Emigrate" and “Emigration” means the departure out of India of any person with a view to taking up any Employment (whether or not under an agreement or other arrangements to take up such employment and whether with or without the assistance of a registered Recruiting Agent (RA) or Employer) in any country or place outside India.

(Refer Definitions under section (2) (f) of chapter I of the Emigration Act, 1983).

What is employment (in the context of employment abroad under Emigration ACT 1983)

Employment” means any service, Occupation or engagement (not being service, Occupation or engagement under the central government or a state government), in any kind of work within the meaning of clause (0) (definitions under section (2) (0) of chapter I of the Emigration Act, 1983), for wages or for reward and all its grammatical variation and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly. Under clause (0) “work means

  • Any unskilled work, including any form of industrial or agriculture labour
  • Any domestic service
  • Any service, not being a service in a managerial capacity, in any hotel, restaurant, tea-house or other place of public resort
  • Work as a driver of a truck or other vehicle, mechanic, technician or skilled labourer or artisan
  • Work as an office assistant or accountant or typist or stenographer or salesman, or nurse or operator of any machine
  • Work in connection with, or for the purpose of, any cinema, exhibition or entertainment; and

Any such work of a professional or of any other nature as the central government may, having regard to the need for the protection of citizens of India who may be employed in such work outside India and other relevant circumstances, specify by notification.

What is ‘Emigration Clearance’?

Emigration clearance (EC) is a kind of legal authorization for ‘emigration’ obtained in the prescribed manner and form from the Protector of Emigrants (POE). Emigration clearance is issued under provisions of Sec 22(1) of the Emigration Act 1983. This authorization is currently issued in the form of a ‘security sticker’ duly signed by the POE and gets pasted on the Passport of the emigrant who requires Emigration clearance. A sample ‘EC’ sticker is given below

Who requires Emigration clearance?

All Indian citizens whose Passport has been categorized as “Emigration Check Required”( ECR) are required to obtain Emigration clearance(EC) from the POE’s before proceeding to specified “ECR Countries” for the purpose of Employment. As of now the Passports of all those persons whose educational qualification is below matric are categorized as ECR Passports. An endorsement (ECR seal/ stamp/remark) to this effect is provided either in the second page or in the last page of the Passport ( as given in Pictures below) by the Passport authorities at the time of issue of Passports.

What is ECNR?Who are the person exempted from ‘Emigration Clearance?’ / List of Persons / Categories of Person who do not required ‘Emigration Clearance’ / List of Persons in whose case’ Emigration Check is Not Required’(ECNR) / Eligible for ECNR Passport.

‘ECNR’ denotes “Emigration Check Not Required”. All those persons whose Passports do not bear endorsement of ECR seal/stamp/remarks are all exempted from obtaining ‘Emigration Clearance’ from the POE. The following is the list of persons who do not require “Emigration Clearance” or the persons eligible for ‘ECNR’ Passport:

  • All holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports.
  • All gazette Government Servants.
  • All income-tax payers (including Agriculture Income Tax Payees) in their individual capacity.
  • All professional degree holders, such as Doctors holding MBBS degrees or Degrees in Ayurved or Homoeopathy; Accredited Journalists; Engineers; Chartered Accountants; Lecturers; Teachers; Scientists; Advocated etc.
  • Spouses and dependent children of category of persons listed form (2) to (4).
  • Persons holding class 10 or higher qualification.
  • Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets, Desk Cadets (i) who have passed final examination of three year B.SC Nautical Science Courses at T.S. Chanakya, Mumbai; and (ii) who have undergone three months Pre-sea training at any of the Government approved Training institutes such as T. S. Chanakya, T. S. Rehman, T. S. Jawahar, MTI (SCI) and NIPM, Chennai after production of identity cards issued by the Shipping Master, Mumbai/Calcutta/Chennai.
  • Persons holding permanent immigration Visas, such as the visas of UK, USA and Australia.
  • Persons possessing two years diploma from any institute recognized by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or State Council of Vocational Training (SCVT) or persons holding three years diploma/equivalent degree from institutions like Polytechnics recognized by Central/State Governments.
  • Nurses possessing qualification recognized under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
  • All persons above the age of 50 years.
  • All persons who have been staying abroad for more than three years (the period of three years could be either in one stretch or broken) and their spouses.


When "Emigration Clearance" is Required .

‘Emigration Clearance’ is mandatory only when an ‘ECR’ Passport holder is proceeding on ‘Employment’ to any of the specified ‘ECR’/”Emigration Check Required” countries.

When "Emigration Clearance" is not Required ”?

Emigration Clearance’ is not at all required in all the following cases/circumstances:

  • All ‘ECNR’ Passport holders do not require “Emigration Clearance” for travelling to any country irrespective of the category of the country and irrespective of the purpose of travel.
  • All ‘ECR’ Passport holders when travelling to any of the ‘ECNR’ country do not require ‘Emigration Clearance’ irrespective of the purpose of travel.
  • All ‘ECR’ Passport holders when travelling to any of the 17 specified ‘ECR’ countries for purposes “other than employment” like tour visit/business visit/family visit etc. do not require emigration clearance. However, they should carry a valid two-way return air ticket as a form of assurance of their return to India before the expiry of the Visa period. Further they may be required to carry a letter from the sponsor of their visit and other documents as may be specified by the Immigration authorities at the Immigration check counters at all International airports in India; and
  • All pilgrims going for Haj and Umrah to Saudi Arabia and those Pilgrims travelling with the declared purpose of performing Ziarat to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Yeman do not require emigration clearance irrespective of their Passport category.