Indians Taking up Jobs in UAE, 17 Other Countries Have to Register ThemselvesTop Stories

November 22, 2018 11:13
Indians Taking up Jobs in UAE, 17 Other Countries Have to Register Themselves

(Image source from: Little India)

Indians who are traveling to 18 Emigration Check Required (ECR) for employment will be offloaded from January 1, 2019, if they neglect to register with the Indian government in advance, an advisory from the Ministry of External Affairs says.

"Starting 01.01.2019, no Indian emigrant holding Non-ECR passport would be allowed to go to these 18 ECR countries for employment without prior registration in eMigrate, as a measure of extending protection and ensuring their welfare overseas," the advisory states.

The registration should be done 24 hours prior to departure by visiting the eMigrate website and filling the prescribed form. Successful completion of the form will be acknowledged by an SMS/email from the Indian government.

The 18 ECR countries are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Indian Emigration Act, 1983, provides that no citizen of India shall migrate unless they obtain emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants.

Related content: Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect Work Authorization of H-1B Spouses

It has also been noted that certain countries (currently 18) neither have strict laws regulating the entry and employment of foreign nationals nor do they provide platforms for grievance redressal. Therefore, these have been distinguished as Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries. Hence, anyone having ECR endorsed passports and traveling to any of the 18 ECR countries for employment need emigration clearance.

However, people who have ECR passports and are going to any of the ECR countries for reasons other than work do not need to have emigration clearance.

ECR passport holders are those who have not qualified Class 10. Their passport will include a stamp from the passport office, whereas, those who have qualified Class 10 don't need a stamp on the passport and their passports are named Emigration Clearance Not Required (ECNR) ones.

Presently, those who have an ECR passport can migrate to the aforementioned 18 countries only through eMigrate, an online system set up by the Indian government in 2015, to guarantee fair and ethical recruitment. However, those who have an ECNR passport don't have to go through the eMigrate system to migrate anyplace on a job visa.

And in time, the Indian government has a data of only ECR passport holders who migrate through eMigrate.

Present, in a bid to render protection for ECNR passport holders, the Indian authorities have made enrollment compulsory for them too. According to the MEA advisory, queries regarding the registration can be processed by contacting toll-free number 1800 113 090.

Rafeek Ravuther, a migrant rights activist in India, said that such a kind of move will help both the migrant worker and Indian government.

"Currently, the Indian government has only data of ECR passport holders because its mandatory for them to register as part of the migration. And ECNR passport holders don’t have to do so. So, we have only the number of ECR passport holding Indians migrants who are migrating through eMigrate," Rafeek said.

According to eMigrate data from January 2018 till October 2018, 2,86,011 Indians have migrated through the eMigrate system.

"When registration of ECNR passport holders also becomes mandatory, then we will have the actual number of Indians migrating to 18 ECR countries," Rafeek said.

In the meantime, a bill prepared in 2009 to amend the 1983 Emigration Act is still on the shelves. The bill was updated in 2009 and 2011. However, the bill is put in suspension since then.

In 2016, the 11th report in respect to the bill was set in the Parliament by the Standing Committee in 2016. The bill intends to render an improved legal supporting for Indian migrant workers.

-Sowmya Sangam

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United Arab Emirates  Indians  employment