Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

E-registration must for jobs in 18 countriesPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: IR | Indian Diaspora

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: ECR norms

Mains level: Welfare of Indians going abroad


Compulsory registration for non-ECR category

  1. Passport holders with non-Emigration Check Required (non-ECR) status will soon have to get themselves registered with the Ministry of External Affairs before taking up jobs abroad.
  2. The rule, which takes effect on January 1, is said to be aimed at the welfare of Indians going abroad.
  3. It applies to jobs in 18 countries, including the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, which have the largest number of expats.

Category of passengers

  1. The non-ECR category of passengers includes Indians paying income tax and those with educational qualification above matriculation.
  2. As of now only ECR category passport holders were required to get emigration clearance from the office of the Protector of Emigrants to seek employment abroad.
  3. All those seeking employment will have to register online via the website
  4. Those failing to register at least 24 hours prior to actual departure will be off-loaded at the airports.
  5. For all other visa categories, there is no change in existing procedures.

Why such move?

  1. The objective of the directive is to protect workers with higher educational qualification from not getting into blue collar jobs.
  2. Previously only ECR stamped passport holders had to go through the mandatory e-migrate registration since 2015.
  3. However, not all blue collar workers are in the ECR category as it was evident in the number of people taking up employment in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman and Qatar.

What data say?

  1. Statistics available with the MEA showed that UAE is one of the five top destination countries for Indians taking up employment.
  2. Nearly 1.5 lakh Indians had taken up employment in that country last year.
  3. This was followed by Saudi Arabia (78,611); Kuwait (56,380); Oman (43,332) and Qatar (24,759).
  4. Incidentally Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the top labour-sending State with 88,450 Indian emigrants registering with the e-migrate system.
  5. This was followed by Bihar (69,426); Tamil Nadu (38,341); West Bengal (36,599) and Rajasthan (32,184).
  6. The other countries where registration is required are Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Yemen.

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