ECNR stands for Emigration Check Not Required. According to the Emigration Act 1983, ‘Emigration’ means any Indian citizen leaving India with the aim of acquiring employment in a foreign country. As a result, all Indian passports are divided into two categories,
- Passports with Emigration Check Required
- Passports with Emigration Check Not Required
In fact, if a passport issued before January 2007, does not have a notation, it is taken as ECR. However, if a passport issued in or after January 2007, does not have a notation, it is taken as ECNR.
Eligibility for ECNR
There are some countries which require Emigration Check but even in these countries you can avoid it, if you belong to the following categories.
- Holders of Diplomatic / Official Passports
- Gazetted Government servants.
- Income-tax payers (including Agricultural Income-tax payees), in their individual capacity.
- Professional degree holders, such as Doctors holding M.B.B.S. degrees or Degrees in Ayurveda or Homoeopathy; Accredited Journalists; Engineers; Chartered Accountants; Lecturers; Teachers; Scientists; Advocates etc.
- Spouses and dependent children listed in category from (2) to (4).
- Persons having educational qualification of matriculation and above.
- Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets.
- Seamen who are Desk Cadets (i) who have passed final examination of three year B.Sc. Nautical Sciences 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). Besides, persons holding three years’ diploma/equivalent degree from institutions like Polytechnics recognized by Central/State Governments.
- Qualified Nurses, recognized under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
- 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.
- Children below of 18 years of age provided they are accompanied by any or both of their parents. (At the time of re-issue at the age of 18 years, ECR stamping shall be done, if applicable).
- Further, all those Indian Nationals who are otherwise eligible for ECNR endorsement in their passports but could not obtain the same and intend to leave the country in emergent situations, can seek one time exemption on production of relevant eligibility documents such as attested copy of educational qualification of matriculation and above, attested copy of the latest Income Tax Return etc, to the immigration officer at the airport.
To apply for the ECNR stamp in your passport, you are required to fill an application form. This application form can be submitted personally or through a representative (having authority letter, signed by you) or by registered post. Submission fee is deposited along with the application form, either in cash or a demand draft in favor of Regional Passport Officer of your city. Full name of the applicant and application number should be mentioned at the back of the draft.
Besides, some documents are also to be attached with the above papers. This includes valid passport, two attested photocopies of the proof that the applicant is entitled to ECNR. Address Proof is also required for which can be in the form of a bank statement or utility bill. Last but not the least, two photocopies of the first four and last four pages of the passport. Most importantly, do not forget to carry the original copy of all the photocopied documents.
In case of emergency, the immigration officer at the airport is empowered to grant exemption. In such a situation only one time exemption is granted that to on the production of relevant documents such as the matriculation certificate, Pan Card etc. Given is a list below, which states the persons allowed to travel to the ECR countries in case of emergency
- VIPs like Central and State Ministers, MPs, MLAs etc and their family members.
- Central and State Government Officers traveling on diplomatic/official passport or passport with ECNR endorsement and their family members accompanying them
- Students going abroad for higher studies, provided they furnish documentary proof in support of their admission in the foreign country
- Persons going abroad due to sudden demise of any of their relatives in a foreign country.
- Persons going abroad for medical treatment of any injury due to accident or any acute health problem of self or any of their relatives in a foreign country
- Sports persons representing the country in International competitions/training/coaching program provided their foreign visit is duly approved by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
ECR stands for Emigration Check Required. As per the Emigration Act, all the passengers holding ECR status in their passport need to obtain clearance from the office of Protection of Emigrants (POE). The list of countries, which require ECR, is given below. However, you do not require Emigration clearance in case you are traveling to countries other than those mentioned below.
- United Arab Emirates (UAE),
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),
- Iraq (emigration banned)