Sunday, 6 May 2012

Emigration check (not) required



ECNR/ ECR
The protector of Emigrants (POE) is an official government body which functions to aid and protect its citizens overseas. Government of India and Pakistan both have these offices. 

I remembered about this while surfing on the forums and was reminded of my trip to the passport office to get my passport stamped - ECNR (Emigration check not required). Apparently, if you are a worker who is not well educated then the POE steps in to ensure the welfare of worker. 

ECR (emigration check required) status is not required for doctors, physicians, nurses etc but it helps to have ECNR stamped on your passport to prevent the less critically thinking human beings in government machinery from raising problems at crucial times like traveling overseas.

According to the various online and gov.in sources, for Indian passports issued before January 2007 if there is no stamp or notation, then by default it means Emigration Check Required (ECR) and you will need a stamp on your passport which specifically denotes that for your case a emigration check is not needed, Hence the ECNR stamp. Remember passports are issued for 10 years, so at least till 2017, those that have been issues passports on or prior to 2007 will need the ECNR stamp.

If you have been issued a passport after 2007, then by default you do not need emigration clearance. If the status is "Emigration Check Required (ECR)", it will be specifically mentioned on your passport by means of an endorsement.

Also, according to passport.gov.in ECNR is automatic for the following countries, irrespective of the emigration status endorsed on your passport: Pakistan, All countries in Europe(except Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), North America, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, & Singapore. So in theory there should be no issues what so ever for those coming to US seeking a medical residency. As a doctor holding MBBS degree you are entitled to get the ECNR stamp and which is what I did several years ago.

Thus if you have a passport issued before on or before 2007, you don’t theoretically need the ECNR stamp because 1. you are MBBS doctor and 2. you are going to US for medical residency but to prevent officials with itchy palms syndrome from creating problems, better to have the passport stamped ECNR. For those after 2007, no need to worry about the stamp. It does not depend on the type of visa J1 or H1 that you need to come to US.

I was going to look into the office of protector of emigrants for Pakistan but their site wont open, I don’t know if it is undergoing maintenance has been down for whatever reason.  Also, as far as I know, I could not find any other country that had a clause like this, so if you are not from India or Pakistan you may not have any issue to begin with. If you have any suggestions or correction, please leave a comment and Dont forget to join me on facebook or follow on twitter

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