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What do ECR and ECNR mean on an Indian passport?

ECR and ECNR_Itzeazy

As per the Emigration Act, 1983, certain categories of Indian passport holders require to obtain "Emigration Clearance" from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE) for going to certain countries

As per the Emigration Act, "emigration" means the leaving of India of any Indian citizen with the intent of taking up employment in a foreign country

All Indian passports are divided into two categories as follows:

  1. Passports with endorsement - Emigration Check Required (ECR Passports).
  2. Passports with endorsement - Emigration Check Not Required(ECNR Passports).

For passports issued before January 2007, no notation in the passport means ECR.

For passports issued in or after January 2007, no notation in the passport means ECNR If Emigration Check is required, there will be an endorsement in the passport regarding ECR.

Emigration Check Required (ECR)

The idea behind ECR is for the safety of Indian citizens due to the legal conditions of other countries and is based on various situations/conditions.

ECR Countries:

If you are subject to ECR, emigration clearance fromPOE to enter any of the following countries for employment is required:

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

Effective October 1, 2007, if you are traveling to any of the above countries for purposes other than employment, you don't require emigration clearance.

If you are traveling to any country other than those mentioned above, you don't require emigration clearance, irrespective of whether you are eligible for ECNR (as described below) or not.

Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR)

Even if you are traveling to any of the above –mentioned 18 countries, the following categories of persons are exempt from the emigration clearance requirement while going abroad:

  1. All holders of Diplomatic/Official Passports.
  2. All Gazetted Government servants.
  3. All income tax payers (including agriculture income tax payers) in their individual capacity.
  4. All professional degree holders, such as doctors, accredited journalists, engineers, chartered accountants, cost accountants, lecturers, teachers, scientists, etc.
  5. Spouses and dependent children up to the age of 24 of persons listed from categories 2 to 4.
  6. All persons having educational qualification of 10th standard and above.
  7. Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets.
  8. Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets, Desk cadets who have passed final examination of three year B. Sc. Nautical Sciences courses at 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/Kolkata/Chennai.
  9. Persons holding permanent immigration visas, such as visa of UK, USA and Australia.
  10. Persons holding degree or diploma in Polytechnics, recognized by Central/State Governments.
  11. Nurses possessing qualifications recognized under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
  12. All persons above the age of 50 years.
  13. All persons who have been staying abroad for more than 3 years and their spouses.
  14. All children below 18years of age provided they are accompanied by any or both of their parents. (At the time of issue at the age of 18 years, ECR stamping shall be done, if applicable).

If the passport of a person has been wrongly categorized as ECR, while he was entitled for ECNR category, it must be rectified from the issuing Regional Passport Office before she/he undertakes a journey to the countries for which emigration clearance is required.

For more information, visit website - Passport India