How can I get an ECNR pass
How are ECR passport controls carried out in India?
If an Indian passport applicant does not meet certain conditions, the passport will have "Emigration Exam Required" printed on it. (Note: I cannot find an up-to-date picture of such a print.)
There are border controls in India and each passenger's passport and boarding pass are checked and stamped by the border officer. From the website of the Bureau of Immigration (focus on mine):
Indian nationals traveling overseas require a valid Indian passport and valid travel authority for the destination country.
The travel authority usually takes the form of a pre-travel visa, except in countries where Visa on Arrival is available.
Indians traveling abroad may also note that some countries insist on a minimum period of passport validity in order to allow entry. This confirmation should be requested from the embassy / travel agency.
Indians with the Emigration Check Required (ECR) passport category require POE approval from the Ministry of Indian Overseas Affairs for certain destinations when traveling on a work visa.
The "specific goals" are:
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand, Iraq (emigration prohibited).
The ECR check is therefore carried out by the Immigration Service. A passenger with a passport bearing the ECR stamp and traveling to the specified countries on a work visa must have an "Emigration Permit" from the Protector of Emigration (PoE). From the (somewhat flaky) website of PoE Chennai (empahsis mine)
The emigration permit (EC) is a kind of legal permit for emigration, which has been issued in the prescribed manner and form by the Protector of Emigrants (POE). The emigration permit is issued in accordance with the provisions of Section 22 (1) of the Emigration Act of 1983. This permit is currently issued in the form of a “security sticker” duly signed by the POE and affixed to the passport of the emigrant who requires an emigration permit
The procedure for obtaining such clearance is given here. The applicant needs to submit some documents (employment contracts and insurance) to get approval.
The ECR checking at the border is therefore carried out by checking the passport / visa of the passenger. If the passport has an ECR stamp, the "Emigration Clearance" sticker affixed to the destination country . If the passenger does not have this, he is not allowed to leave India. Immihelp has more information on "special" one-time releases under urgent circumstances, but I can't find an official link for it.
Also note that for any other type of visa for travel to the ECR countries, the emigration permit Not is required if the passenger can present return flight tickets. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:
Holders of an ECR passport who are traveling to one of the notified countries (ECR countries) on a visa other than a work visa may travel to the airport on presentation of the following documents:
Valid visit / stay / study visa etc.
For your other question
And how does it work for Indians who are leaving from neighboring countries like Nepal?
I'm not sure. Since the ECR control is carried out by Indian border guards, there is probably little they can do if the passenger is leaving from Nepal or other neighboring countries.
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