Explained: ECR and ECNR in Indian Passport

Planning to fly out to another country? The most important thing that comes to mind whenever you think of going abroad is a passport. In India, people can apply for a passport as it is considered the most important identity document issued by the Indian government. There are two categories of Indian passports. The individuals who are seeking to apply for a passport need to understand the categories and the eligibility criteria. Most people may get confused about the difference between ECR Passport and ECNR Passport. Get to know more details about the two different categories of Passport in this guide. 

What is ECR Passport?

ECR Passport means Emigration Clearance Required. It is the first category of passports available for Indian citizens. The individual who hasn’t passed their matriculation or class 10 or doesn’t have any qualification certificate will fall under this category. An emigration check is the process of verification that the person has to undergo while traveling to other countries for employment. The Government has introduced the ECR category in Passport for those who are willing to work in other countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Iran, Indonesia, and more as unskilled workers. To overcome the critical situations to the Indian citizens like domestic violence in other countries, the Indian Government has come up with this provision. 

What is ECNR Passport?

Non-ECR Passport or ECNR Passport means Emigration Check Not Required. People who have finished graduation and are qualified educationally need not go through the immigration process every time they travel abroad if they hold ECNR Passport. People who have completed their matriculation are eligible to get ECNR Passport. In case, if you have passed class 10 but don’t have certificates for the same then, you will fall under the ECR Category. Besides this eligibility, few criteria make you qualify for the Non-ECR category passport. 

Difference Between ECR and Non-ECR Passport

The two different categories of passports available for the citizens of India include ECR and ECNR. There is a key difference between the two categories. Before applying for a passport, one must understand the difference. The two categories are differentiated based on the eligibility i.e., educational qualification of the applicant. The citizens who have passed their 10th class or matriculation will fall under the Non-ECR category. Non-ECR category in passport means the citizens need not go through emigration check as they have passed class 10 or matriculation. If the applicant hasn’t passed class 10 or SSC then, they will fall under the ECR category. 

Even if the applicant passed the 10th class but doesn’t have the related certificates then, they will also fall under the ECR category. This is the major difference between the ECR and ECNR categories of passports. The key intention of the Indian Government behind introducing two categories is to help the unskilled workers from facing domestic violence in foreign countries. The ECR category passport holders who are unskilled workers can work safely abroad without any exploitation. During the Emigration Clearance process, the unskilled workers undergo verification regarding their credentials. This helps them to stay secure and protected from fraud.

How to Check Passport is ECR or ECNR?

Do you know the category of your passport? Wondering how to check passport is ECR or ECNR? One can easily identify whether your passport falls under ECR or ECNR categories. On the last page of your Passport, you can find the ECR notation or stamp. If there is nothing mentioned on the last page then, it indicates that it is an ECNR Passport. By default, it says that your passport falls under the ECNR category. Such citizens can travel to any nation without an emigration check.

Documents Required for Non-ECR Passport

The applicants require some vital documents for Non-ECR Passport. We furnished the list below:

1. For Gazetted Government Servants, their spouses, and children, 

Gazetted Officers

  • Identity Certificate
  • No Objection Certificate as per the Annexure G
  • Prior Intimation Letter as per Annexure H

For spouses of government employees

  • ID Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate issued by the Registrar

For Children of Gazetted Government employees

  • Birth Certificate
  • School Leaving Certificate
  • Passport Copy of the government employee

2. For applicants above 50 years of age,

  • Birth Certificate issued by the municipal authority


  • School Leaving Certificate

3. For Income Tax Payers including their spouses and children below 18 years of age

Income Tax Payees

  • Income tax assessment proof and proof of income tax payment for last 1 year


  • IT Returns statement for last 1 year having the stamp of IT officials along with a PAN Card copy

For spouses

  • Marriage Certificate issued by the Registrar
  • Spouse’s name must be printed on the passport of the applicant

For Children

  • Birth Certificate [OR]
  • School Leaving Certificate

4. For Diplomatic or Official Passport Holders,

  • Only Diplomatic Passport is Required. 
  • No Other document is Required

5. For all individuals who have finished matriculation and above,

  • Class 10 Pass Certificate/Matriculation or Higher Educational Pass Certificate

6. For Children up to 18 years of age,

  • Birth certificate issued by the municipal authority

[Note: In case of re-issue of passport, documents that prove their non-ECR category must be submitted once they get 18 years of age. Otherwise, ECR stamping will be done on the passport.]

7. For Nurses as per Indian Nursing Council Act. 1947

  • Nursing Certificate

8. For all professional Degree holders, their spouses, and children,

  • Valid Professional Degree Certificate

[Doctors with MBBS Degree, Equivalent Degree in Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Journalists, Teachers, Advocates Chartered Accountants, Engineers, etc.]

For Spouses

  • A copy of the Marriage Certificate issued by the registrar

For Children

  • Birth Certificate or School Leaving Certificate

9. For all 2-year or 3-year Degree/Diploma holders, 

  • Degree Certificate issued by the respective university or institute

10. For individuals residing abroad for more than 3 years and their spouses,

  • Passport Copy issued by the Passport Issuing Authority

For spouses

  • Marriage Certificate [OR]
  • The name of the spouse must be printed on both their passports
  • Applicant must submit a written statement mentioning the dates of entry and exit from India. Must produce the passport for verification purposes.

11. For Seamen who own Continuous Discharge Certificate [CDC] or Deck Cadets or Sea Cadets,

  • Continuous Discharge Certificate

12. For Individuals who have Permanent Immigration Visa such as Australia, USA, and UK Visas,

  • Permanent Resident Card of the residing country or a copy of immigration visas

NOTE: If the applicant doesn’t have Non-ECR status then, all the ECR passport holders must get Emigration Clearance Certificate from the Protector-General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas India Affairs.

Countries Which Requires Emigration Clearance for ECR Passport

Here is the complete list of countries that require Emigration Clearance. Check the documents required for Non-ECR passport furnished below:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Brunei
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arab
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Saudi Arabia 
  • Thailand
  • UAE
  • Yemen

Emigration Check Exemption List

Here is the complete list of people who are exempted from the Emigration Check. 

  • Gazetted Officers
  • Income Tax Payers
  • Diplomatic Passport Holders
  • Permanent Residence Visa Holders of USA, Australia, and the UK
  • Individuals who have stayed overseas with their spouse for more than 3 years
  • Individuals less than 18 years of age living with single or both parents.
  • Professionals such as Doctors and Engineers
  • Individuals who have passed matriculation and above
  • Individuals who have more than 50 years of age

How to Change ECR to ECNR in Indian Passport?

Do you know how to change ECR to ECNR in an Indian passport? If yes, just check this in-depth guide in this post. It is possible to change ECR to ECNR in Indian Passport. The individuals who want to change from ECR to ECNR must apply for a re-issue of the passport. At the time of the application process, the applicants need to select ‘Yes’ for a question that reads, ‘Are you eligible for Non-ECR Category?’ In the application form, the applicants must select the ‘Yes’ option next to this question. All the relevant documents must be submitted for eligibility by the applicant. The applicants must meet the vital educational qualifications to change ECR to ECNR Passport. The major educational qualification of the applicant is passing the 10th class or matriculation. The applicant who has passed 10th class must submit the certificate to the RPO and get its passport changed from ECR to ECNR. 

How to Remove ECR Stamp From Passport?

It is highly essential to remove the ECR Stamp from the Passport for people who want to travel abroad. In case, the ECR stamp hasn’t been removed, the passport holder will face some critical issues. Here is the detailed procedure to remove ECR Stamp from your Passport. Check it out!

  • First of all, visit the official website of Passport Seva Portal i.e., passport.gov.in.
  • On the home page of the website, you can find the miscellaneous service tab.
  • Download the application. Make deletion request of Emigration Check Required in the application.
  • Attest 10th and 12th class passing certificates and 2 photocopies of the applicant.
  • Make sure that you attach only the attested certificates.
  • The applicants need to attach any of the address proofs such as Ration Card, Voter ID Card, Electricity Bill, Lease Agreement, Phone Bill, Employer ID, etc.
  • Sometimes, the PAN Card of the applicant might be required.
  • To remove ECR Stamp from the Passport, the applicants need to pay a fee of Rs. 300.
  • Submit the current passport you already have along with 2 photocopies for the last 4 pages and the first 4 pages.
  • Visit the nearby passport office and submit the form along with the required documents.

Emigration Clearance for Passports With ECR Status

If you have a passport without ECNR status then, you must get Emigration Check Stamp before proceeding to the particular countries list for employment purposes. The passport will be stamped with a specially printed adhesive stamp and duly signed by the Protector of Emigrants. For 6 months, the emigration clearances will be provided to the workers applying for the passport through recognized recruiting agents. The applicants must have a valid work visa. However, it is a temporary clearance and might be ceased after the first journey. The applicants need to apply for suspension of ECR status in case they travel to one of the ECR countries for any intent apart from employment. The applicants must submit the following documents for emigration clearance for passports with ECR status. Check the list of essential documents:

  • Address proof
  • Attested sponsorship declaration from Indian Consulate/Mission
  • Copy of return tickets
  • A Copy of Visa
  • A fee of Rs.400
  • Filled application form
  • FTS
  • Original passport and one copy

The Indian Government also permits emergency clearance for ECR endorsed passports in international airports. Emergency clearance helps people to evade the ECR suspension process. Some of the cases that are considered for Emergency ECNR Status whilst travelling to ECR Countries include the following:

  • People travelling to foreign countries due to the sudden death of relatives
  • Students travelling abroad for higher studies subject to submission of admission-related documents from a University
  • People travelling abroad to get treatment for themselves or relatives of accidental injuries
  • State or Central Government Officers who hold official or Diplomatic passports and accompanying family members
  • Sportspersons travelling to foreign countries to represent India in any global-level competitions, coaching, or training upon receiving approval from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Emigrants Offices in India

Check the complete list of Emigrants Offices present in India.

  • Building ‘ Khira Nagar, S.V. Road, SantaCruz (West), Mumbai
  • Chandra Vihar Complex, M.J. Road, Hyderabad
  • Hall no.3, RIICO CFC Building, Sitapura Industrial Area, Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer House, Canteen Block, Man Singh Road, New Delhi
  • Kendriya Sadan, 5th Block, Sector 9-A, Chandigarh
  • Putherickal Buildings, Market Road, Cochin
  • Room No.116 A Wing, 3rd MSO Building, DF Block, Salt Lake, Kolkata
  • Rudra Plaza, Hospital Road, Rae Bareilly
  • Suganth, 24/846 (I), Thycaud, Trivandrum
  • Tamil Nadu Housing Board Complex, Ashok Nagar, Chennai

Well, this is everything you need to know about the ECR Passport and ECNR Passport. Hopefully, this guide has given adequate information about the difference between ECR Vs ECNR Passport. If you still have any doubts about the Non-ECR Passport eligibility, required documents, and more, just ask us in the comments space. For more related articles, visit our website frequently.

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