The Indian government on Wednesday deferred a controversial decision to make online registration mandatory for ECNR (emigration clearance not required) passport holders flying to 18 countries, including the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
The rule, said to be aimed at the protection and welfare of Indian emigrants abroad, was set to take effect on January 1. The non-ECR category of passengers include Indians paying income tax and those with educational qualifications above matriculation.
As of now, only ECR category passport holders are required to get emigration clearance from the office of the Protector of Emigrants to seek employment abroad.
A Ministry notification said that the decision was being deferred in response to concerns raised by the NRI community.
“The Ministry has been receiving representations from various quarters, including non-ECR passport holders already employed in ECR countries, regarding difficulties faced by them in registration on www. emigrate.gov.in. The Indian missions in those countries have also been forwarded representations received by them and the local Indian community,” the notification said.
Thus the registration of Non-ECR passport holders has been kept in abeyance till further orders. However, if any such emigrant wants to register voluntarily as earlier, they can do so, it added.
Source Credit: The Hindu