THE MINISTRY of External Affairs (MEA) has recently introduced a change in the norm of Emigration Clearance to Indian passport holders under which no ‘Emigration Check Stamp’ would be required on passports while giving clearance.
Prior to this, ‘Emigration Check Stamp’ was pasted on passport of the applicants in accordance with the Emigration Act, 1983.
As per the new norm, a passport without any stamp would automatically be considered as cleared of emigration. “Earlier, those without emigration clearance on their passports were detained by the airport authorities at the gate,” Regional Passport Officer T D Sharma said while explaining the importance of emigration clearance.
He said the practice till date was to paste the stamp on a passport to ensure emigration clearance. “But this has been done away with and any fresh passport with no stamp would automatically be treated as emigration cleared,” he said.
As per the Act, all Indian passports are divided into two categories – ‘Emigration Check Required’ (ECR) and ‘Emigration Check Not Required’ (ECNR). Both categories have parameters against which the clearance is given.
People going abroad for employment were required to obtain the Emigration Check Stamp before leaving the country. “While issuing passports to that particular category of applicants, there would not be any need for the stamp unlike in the past,” Sharma said.
There used to be lot of confusion on emigration clearance too, and with the introduction of new norm it is expected to make the system hassle-free, he added.