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Mandatory registration for Indians working or seeking job in 18 countries
November 24, 2018, 3:57 pm
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From 1 January 2019, all Indians currently employed or going on new employment to 18 specified countries will have to register with the government online portal, emigrate.gov.in prior to their next departure from India.

Failure to register could lead to emigrants being denied permission to board their flights, says a new advisory dated 14 November 2018, from the office of Joint Secretary & Protector General of Emigrants attached to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. The Bureau of Immigration at emigration counters in airports will be authorized to verify and confirm registration.

Registration has been made mandatory for all Indians currently employed or seeking employment in the following countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen.

Holders of Indian passports with Emigration Clearance Not Required or Non-Emigration Clearance Required (ECNR or Non-ECR) status will now be required to register at emigrate.gov.in, within 21 days to 24 hours before their next departure from India.

People holding Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) status on their passports already had to be registered with the Protector of Emigrants office before exiting India so will not require to register. For holders of all other visa categories there is no change in existing procedures

Those already working on employment visas in the 18 countries mentioned above are mandated to register before their departure from India following their next visit to the country. The one-time registration is valid as long as the person remains on the same company’s employment visa.

The above provision has been introduced with the aim of collecting data and extending protection and ensuring the welfare of emigrants to the 18 countries mentioned above. The provision has been made operational on trial basis from December 2017 and has proven successful said the ministry advisory.

The online registration involves visiting https://emigrate.gov.in/ext/preECNREmig.action and entering an Indian mobile number to which a One Time Password (OTP) will be sent.

Once you successfully enter the portal, you will have to furnish your personal, visa and travel details, emergency contact details in India and destination country and contact details of foreign employer/sponsor in the destination country.

On successful completion of registration, the applicant will receive an SMS/email confirmation.

For any further queries please read the FAQ below or contact Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) on toll free number 1-800-11-3090 or 01140503090 (charges apply) or email to helpline@mea.gov.in

Below are the answers provided by the Ministry of External Affairs to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the new provision for ECNR Registration.

Question 1: What is this recent Advisory is all about?
Answer 1: As per the MEA’s advisory dated 14th Nov 2018, ECNR Passport holders travelling to 18 ECR Countries on Employment Visa have to Register in eMigrate system, at least 24 hours prior to their departure. Their registration confirmation would be verified by Bureau of Immigration (BoI) at emigration counters prior to their departure. One may go through the Advisory for more details.

Question 2: Is it applicable to those who are already working in these 18 notified countries? If yes, how and when should they register?
Answer 2: No. Those already working overseas are not required to register while they are overseas. However, if they come on vacation and are returning back, on the same employment they would need to register. This is only required one time for a given employment duration.

Question 3: Do investor visa holders also need to register on the online portal?
Answer 3: No. Only travelers on Employment Visa need to register on the emigrate portal.

Question 4: Will it affect when they go on vacation?
Answer 4: If the emigrant has already provided the duration of his employment at the time of initial registration, and the vacation falls within the contract period, he/ she is not required to register again. But in case one has not registered at the time of initial departure, he/ she may register at the time of return from vacation.

Question 5: What happens to ECR category when they get ECNR passport after working overseas for three years?
Answer 5: They will register like all other ECNR passport holders going for employment to ECR
countries and they will not be required to obtain EC.

Question 6: Do they have to register again though they might have come through emigrate while having ECR passport? Many of them would not be computer literate.
Answer 6: If they had gone initially through eMigrate, they must have gone through EC route while holding ECR passport. No registration is required for them unless they replace their passports with an ECNR category one.

Question 7: I understand the registration should be done between 21 days to one day before the planned departure. Is that correct?
Answer 7: The requirement is to register at least 24 hours prior to departure to allow sufficient time for information to be passed on to the emigration counter for verification.

Question 8: Could you elaborate on the reasons for implementing this new rule and what benefits Indian workers will receive?
Answer 8: The objective for this registration is to capture the data of Indian emigrants so that they can be reached without delay in case of any eventuality. Implementation of this registration is only phase I of the plan so as to ensure that the system works smoothly and there are no hiccups.

Question 9: What are the main details that they have to provide for registration and how will you ensure that there is no contract substitution or other types of exploitation?
Answer 9: The information required to be filled is minimal, like name, passport number, country of employment, FE name. This registration has no bearing on employee’s contract. As regards exploitation, any Indian faced with any distress situation already has access to MADAD, eMigrate and 24x7 Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) to register their complaint/ grievances.

Question 10: Is there any fee involved? If yes, how much and when this should be paid?
Answer 10: Registration is free of cost.

Question 11: Will this cause any concern to the foreign employers?
Answer 11: The registration process is as unobtrusive as it could be, with no impact to the employment contract. There is absolutely no reason for the Foreign Employers to be concerned about the process or its objective.

Question 12: Once applied, can someone cancel the Registration?
Answer 12: Cancellation of Registration is not allowed.

 

 

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