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A Complete Guide of ECR and Non-ECR Passport in 2024

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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 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.

ECR Passport Allowed Countries

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, individuals holding passports with Emigration Check Required (ECR) status, particularly nurses travelling for employment, are mandated to undergo ECR checks when travelling to the following 18 countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

For international leisure travel, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs permits ECR passport holders to journey abroad. To gain entry into a foreign nation, individuals with ECR passports must provide a valid passport, a visa, and evidence of a return ticket.

Issuance Process of ECR Passports

The issuance of ECR passports is crucial for travellers, as possessing an ECR passport can travel to Dubai and other destinations.

1. Application Process: To obtain a passport, complete the application form and submit the necessary documents, including your matriculation mark sheet.

2. ECR Eligibility Question: While filling out the application, you'll encounter a question regarding eligibility for the non-ECR category. Respond with 'Yes' if you possess your 10th-grade mark sheet or passing certificate; choose 'No' if you don't.

3. Stamping for ECR: Opting for 'No' triggers the passport issuing authority to stamp 'EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED' on your passport. This ensures that the necessary checks are conducted when you travel.

4. Alternative ECR Stamping: Even if you've passed class 10th but still need to submit the mark sheet, the issuing authority may stamp your passport for ECR.

5. Minors and ECR Status: Minors who still need to complete their enrollment automatically receive an ECR passport, streamlining the process for individuals still waiting to finish their 10th-grade education.

Understanding these steps clarifies how Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports are issued, ensuring travellers are informed about the necessary checks and endorsements on their travel documents.

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

To apply for an ECNR passport, certain conditions must be met.

  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).

Documents Required to Verify Non-ECR Status

To obtain how to check ECR and non-ECR-Passports the following documents must be provided:

1. Completed Form EAP-2
2. A fee of Rs.300 in cash or via Demand Draft.
3. Original passport
4. Proof of address
5. Two attested copies of any of the mentioned eligibility criteria
6. Two copies of the passport's first four and last four pages.

For Which Countries Is an ECNR Passport Accepted? 

Not all nations require an emigration certificate. Most countries typically ECNR check in passport holders without 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.

Differences Between ECR and Non-ECR Passports

1. Educational Qualification:

ECR: Required for individuals with educational qualifications below matriculation.

Non-ECR: Typically granted to those with matriculation (Class 10) or higher educational credentials.

2. Occupational Consideration:

ECR: Mandatory for certain occupations, such as nursing, regardless of educational background.

Non-ECR: Generally applicable to various occupations, except for specific categories.

3. Work Experience Abroad:

ECR: This may be required for those with significant work experience abroad, especially in certain professions.

Non-ECR: Available to individuals who have worked abroad for more than three years, continuously or in phases.

4. Age Criteria:

ECR: No specific age-related criteria.

Non-ECR: Includes provisions for individuals under 18 or over 50.

5. Income Tax Payers:

ECR: No specific consideration for income tax payment.

Non-ECR: Available to income taxpayers with a verified income source from a regular profession or business.

6. Spouses and Dependent Children:

ECR: No specific provisions for spouses and dependent children.

Non-ECR: Extends to spouses and dependent children of eligible categories, facilitating family travel.

It is crucial to acknowledge that these distinctions may vary depending on the particular regulations and guidelines established by passport authorities, and they are susceptible to revisions. Applicants should refer to the latest information provided by the relevant authorities for accurate details.

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?
Difference Between Emirates ID and UAE Visa

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques- What are my alternatives if I mistakenly chose ECR in the online application?
Ans- You can rectify the error at the Passport Seva Kendra by providing the documentation to support your request for a non-ECR category.

Ques- Can I travel to UAE with an ECR passport? 
Ans- While travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an Emigration Check Required (ECR) passport is permissible, staying informed about the UAE authorities' regulations is vital. Check the official website or consult relevant authorities for the latest information and any additional conditions applicable to ECR passport holders in the UAE.

Ques- Who is Eligible for a non-ECR passport?
Ans- Eligibility for a non-ECR passport includes Indian citizens with an educational qualification beyond matriculation, government employees, income taxpayers, and spouses/dependent children of eligible categories. Criteria may vary, and applicants should consult current guidelines.

Ques- If my passport has no stamps or notations, what classification does it belong to?
Ans- For passports issued post-January 2007, no "EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED" notation or stamp signifies that the passport falls into the Non-ECR category.

Ques- Is there a specific age limit for ECR status?
Ans- No, there is no specific age limit for ECR status. Emigration Check Required (ECR) status is typically determined by factors such as educational qualifications, occupation, and other criteria specified by the passport authorities, but it is not contingent on age.

Ques- How can I obtain ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) clearance?
Ans- Upon submitting your application for ECNR clearance, the emigration office in your jurisdiction will process it online. Upon approval, you'll receive an electronic emigration clearance.

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