MOIA withdraws ECRS; NRIs Welcome Decision
Friday, September 14, 2007
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs announced reforms on the Emigration Clearance Requirement Suspension (ECRS) covered under the Emigration Act of 1983.
As per the Act, a passport holder carrying the Emigration Check Required clause requires an emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) before leaving the country for taking up an overseas assignment.
The Emigration Act so far covered only those who went abroad for employment, and all other purposes of travel were required to get an Emigration Clearance Requirement Suspension or ECRS.
Viewing this as a deterrent to international travel and leading to corruption in POE offices and fleecing from agents, the Ministry has decided to abolish the ECRS, following a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries on 20th August, 2007.
The ignorance of the facts, as to the difference between ECR and ECRS was exploited by agents, who arranged only a visit visa for the uninformed traveller, depriving him of the opportunity to work abroad, when that was his sole intention.
It is hoped that the abolition of the same will save passengers the harassment and an expense which amounted to almost Rs.600 crore.
The Ministry has informed the Ministry of Home Affairs to amend the departure and arrival cards appropriately. The new policy will be in force from October 1, 2007 The reform has been welcomed by the NRI community in the Gulf and other countries.
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