Riyadh: From January 1, 2019, Indians travelling to 18 notified countres, which include all the GCC countries where the bulk of Indian job seekers go, on employment visa must pre-register with an Indian government recruitment portal. If evidence of this online registration is not produced, such passengers will not be allowed to travel.
The new regulation applies to those whose passports carry the 'Emigration Check Not Required' (ECNR) stamp. Those who need emigration check, are already required to obtain prior clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (PE).
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued an advisory announcing the mandatory registration of Non-Emigration Check Required (Non-ECR or ECNR) passport holding Indians through the website www.emigrate.gov.in to provide protection and welfare to the Indian emigrants abroad.
“The said registration of Non-ECR passport holders will be mandatory and required to be completed at least 24 hours prior to the actual departure,” the advisory posted on the recruitment portal stated.
“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.”
“Off-loading of unregistered non-ECR emigrants at the airports would be effected by the appropriate authority after January 1, 2019,” it said.
Emigrants who need prior clearance, which include those without high school certificate, require an emigration clearance from the office of the Protector of Emigrants to seek employment in foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.
The recruitment procedure through the eMigrate portal has been in place for ECR category since 2015 to protect them against human trafficking, illegal recruitment and exploitation.
The protection ensured through the eMigrate portal for this category of workers has now been extended to ECNR passport holders as well, in view of the large number of job frauds to which the ECNR candidates also become victim.
More than a dozen categories of Indian citizens automatically qualify for ECNR status, including income-tax payers, those below 18 years and above the age of 50, and those with an educational qualification of matriculation and above.
The ministry has now urged all Indians travelling to these 18 countries on employment visas, irrespective of their educational and employment background, to register online with immediate effect.
On successful completion of online registration, the applicant would receive a confirmatory SMS/ email. This confirmation will serve as evidence to show at the departing airport. .