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A Complete Guide of ECR and Non-ECR Passport

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When preparing for international travel, the foremost consideration is your passport, a government-issued document that validates your identity and nationality. Passports are issued based on various factors, including age and educational qualifications. This travel essential holds significant importance, and understanding the two categories of the Indian passport is crucial. 
As per the Indian Emigration Act of 1983, Indian passports are categorized into two: 

1. ECR
2. Non-ECR

ECR Passport  

ECR in a passport stands for 'Emigration Clearance Required' and is a designation applied to individuals who have not completed their tenth grade or lack the necessary educational certificates. This requirement is in place to facilitate employment in countries like Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia. While ECR passport holders can travel to Dubai, it's essential to note that they may be subject to emigration checks as part of immigration procedures. The Indian government has implemented strict regulations to protect citizens with limited educational qualifications from potential domestic abuse in foreign countries, offering support to overcome such challenges.

Who can apply for an ECR passport?

If the passport applicant has not passed his 10th grade or has finished it but does not have all the requisite documentation for, ECR passports are issued by default to children under 15. An Indian national who is travelling to any other nation on a visa other than a work visa or study visa can also apply under the ECR choice by opting for the ECR choice on the Passport online registration form.

Countries that require clearance

The Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of External Indian Affairs, maintains a list of 17 nations where emigration permission is necessary. If you hold an ECR passport and intend to relocate to one of these designated countries on a work visa, you must complete the emigration clearance process. However, it's important to note that some other visa categories do not require this clearance. To enter the airport, present your valid ECR passport, tickets, and the appropriate visa. For a list of ECR passport-allowed countries, consult the Ministry's official guidelines.

List of Documents Required for an ECR Passport

Valid residential proofs, annexures (if applicable), and any exigency proofs are among the documents you must present (if required). The documents listed above are required when applying for an ECR passport to ensure compliance with Indian government laws and guidelines. Proof of educational status is not required to obtain an ECR passport. You can, however, get it as a separate document.

Process for Eliminating the ECR Stamp from a Passport

The ECR endorsement in a passport must be eliminated before international travel to avoid potential legal issues. Below are the steps to follow for its removal:

Step 1: Visit passport.gov.in and access the miscellaneous service section to download the application form.

Step 2: Clearly state the request to remove the Emigration Check Required (ECR).

Step 3: Provide two photocopies of your college, 12th, and 10th passing certificates.

Step 4: Ensure that the attached certificates are attested.

Step 5: Include a valid address proof, such as Voter ID, Ration card, electricity bill, employer ID, phone bill, lease agreement, etc.

Step 6: Be prepared to present your PAN card, if required.

Step 7: The processing fee is Rs. 300.

Step 8: Submit your current passport with two photocopies of the last four and the first four pages.

Step 9: Visit the nearest passport office to submit the application form and the necessary documents.

Read More: How To Transfer A Residency Visa From One Passport To Another

Non-ECR Passport

A passport's non-ECR stamp signifies "Emigration Check Not Required."This is for academically qualified individuals who desire to travel for work or pleasure. Holders of an ECNR passport can go around the world without having to clear emigration. Indian citizens who have completed their 10th grade can obtain the ECNR without clearing emigration at the desk. Even if you have finished your SSLC and still do not have documents, you will be classified as ECR.

Conditions for applying under Non-ECR passports

  1. Indian citizens who have completed the tenth standard and have all of the required documentation.
  2. People above 50 with a Diploma in Polytechnic from an accredited organization.
  3. Spent three or more years abroad and have a Diploma in Nursing under the Indian Nursing Council Act 1947.
  4. Officials of the Gazetted Government, their partners, and their offspring.
  5. Bearers of official and diplomatic passports.
  6. Income taxpayers (particularly farmers), their wives, and their kids (under 18 years of age).

For which countries is an ECNR Passport accepted?

Not all nations require an emigration certificate. Most countries typically admit ECNR passport holders without the need for emigration clearance. Additionally, individuals travelling on various visa categories, including tourist, employment, medical, educational, and business visas, are generally processed at airport immigration counters without issues.

Is it possible to change your ECR passport to a non-ECR passport?

It is possible to convert an ECR (Emigration Check Required) passport into a Non-ECR (Emigration Check Not Required) passport. To do this, you typically need to meet specific educational qualifications, and you can apply for a reissue of your passport with the Non-ECR category. However, it's essential to check the specific eligibility criteria and procedures outlined by the Passport Office and Indian government authorities, as they may have updated requirements.

Suggested Read: Steps To Register Yourself For UAE Residency Permit Through E-Channels


The Emigration Act governs the emigration of trained, semi-skilled, and low-skilled people, as well as other professionals such as 'Nurses' who are notified regularly, for a job in 18 recognized nations. Individuals whose passports bear the "Emigration Clearance Required" (ECR) stamp and who wish to work in these 18 nations must acquire emigration permission from the Protector of Emigrants (POE). Employees who have not gotten clearance from POE may be detained at Immigration. 

Also Read: 

  1. How To Cancel My Dubai Visa?
  2. Difference Between Emirates ID and UAE Visa

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