Your passport is an essential identity proof document. A valid passport allows you to enter other countries for work and leisure. However, some passport holders require additional checks to enter certain countries. This check is known as ECR clearance. Let us understand what ECR is in a passport and find out what countries require an ECR check.What is Emigration Check Required (ECR)?
Indian passport falls under two categories – ECR and Non-ECR. Applicants who have not completed their matriculation typically need to undergo an emigration clearance. Such applicants' passports are categorized as ECR.
Applicants holding an ECR passport must essentially undergo a verification process if they intend to take up employment opportunities overseas. Their passports typically bear the 'EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED' stamp on the address page.Why is ECR important?
Vulnerable sections of our society, i.e., less educated workers, minors, etc., may be taken overseas under the pretence of a better life. However, sometimes, employers may exploit them and make them work extensively for minimum wages. In some cases, employers may seize their passports and prevent them from returning to their home country. The objective of stamping ECR is to ensure employers in certain countries do not take advantage of workers with lower qualifications. Per the Emigration Act, 1983, if you have an ECR stamp on your passport, you need clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) office to travel abroad for work.Countries That Require ECR
Per the Ministry of External Affairs, the following 18 countries require ECR passport holders and nurses travelling for work to undergo ECR checks.
|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
|United Arab Emirates
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs permits ECR passport holders to travel internationally for leisure purposes. Such passport holders must present a valid passport, visa and return ticket to enter a foreign land.How ECR Passports Are Issued?
Having explained the emigration check required meaning, let us understand how such passports are issued.
When applying for a passport, you must fill out a form and submit certain documents, including your matriculation mark sheet. You need to check yes or no to the question 'are you eligible for the Non-ECR category?' in the application form. If you have your 10th-grade mark sheet or passing certificate, you must select 'Yes'; if you don't, you must select 'No'. If you select 'No', the passport issuing authority stamps' EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED' on the passport. The issuing authority may also stamp your passport for ECR if you have passed class 10th but have not submitted the mark sheet. Minors who are yet to complete their matriculation are automatically issued an ECR passport.The Role of Travel Insurance
Whether you're travelling abroad for work or leisure, whether you need ECR or not, you need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers several unforeseen expenses that may arise on your overseas trip. It protects you against thefts, baggage, documents and passport losses, emergency hospitalization, etc. When faced with sudden emergencies abroad, travel insurance gives a sense of relief and reduces your financial burdens.Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.