Registration of NRIs with ECNR status deferred

The immigration and arrival hall at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Indians who do not require emigration clearance feel the government is restricting their right to travel freely.

Ministry of External Affairs in India issued a notification on 28 November deferring its earlier advisory dated 14 November, which required Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), employed or seeking employment in 18 countries and holding Emigration Clearance Not Required (ECNR) passport status, to register online at the government portal from 1 January, 2019.

The new notification states that the Ministry of External Affairs had received representations from various quarters regarding difficulties faced in registering on emigrate.gov.in and had accordingly decided to temporarily suspend the decision.

“The ‘Competent Authority’ had decided to keep the advisory regarding registration of ECNR passport holders in abeyance until further orders,” said the statement from the Joint Secretary & Protector General of Emigrants, M.C. Luther.

The notification also added that if any emigrant wanted to register voluntarily on the government portal, they could continue to do so.