ECR vs Non-ECR - ECNR Indian Passport Meaning and Info

ECR vs Non-ECR (ECNR) Indian Passport Application. Meaning?

In Indian Passport by KumarUpdated : 100 Comments

Many of you applying for Indian Passport will come across this question “Are you eligible for Non-ECR Category?”. It can be very confusing with ECR and Non-ECR as many of us are not sure what they mean. Also, you may be asked for emigration clearance for employment in certain foreign countries for ECR passport holders. We will look at all these aspects, including how to get that removed that as well, if you are eligible.

Firstly, as you all know a passport is a travel document, issued by a country’s government. It certifies the identity and nationality of a passport holder. You need it to visit any country or to work overseas. In India, there are two types of passports ECR and Non-ECR (formerly called as ECNR). Depending on the individual’s status like their education, age, marital status, etc. they would be classified as ECR or Non-ECR category from passport application standpoint. Let’s look at them in detail.

What does ECR in Indian Passport mean ? Who gets it ?

ECR stands for Emigration Check Required.   In general, if you have not passed 10th grade/class (Matriculation or higher education pass certificate)  then your passport will fall under ECR Category. Emigration Check is nothing but a verification process that an individual has to go through, if they plan to travel to certain countries for work as unskilled workers.

What is Non-ECR or ECNR in Indian Passport ?

Non-ECR, formerly known as ECNR, means Emigration Check Not Required(ECNR). In general, if you have passed 10th class/grade (Matriculation or Higher Educational Pass Certificate) or have higher degree then your passport falls under Non-ECR Category.  Also, if you satisfy any of the below criteria you qualify for Non-ECR category.

  • Official and Diplomatic passport holders
  • Gazetted Government officers, their spouses and children
  • Individuals who are above the age of 50 years
  • Children up to the age of 18 years.
  • Income taxpayers ( including agricultural income tax payers), their spouses and children under 18 years.
  • Professional degree holders such as Engineers, Doctors, CA,  etc., their spouses and children.
  • Anyone who hold visas for permanent immigration / resident visas for the US, UK, and Australia
  • Individuals who have spent three years overseas and their spouses
  • Individuals who hold a diploma in nursing under the Indian Nursing Council Act-1947
  • People holding diploma in Polytechnic from any recognized institute.
  • People who work in Sea with Continuous Discharge Certificate or Sea Cadets and Deck cadets.

Depending on your status listed above, you will need to carry the relevant documentation as listed on Passport Office Non- ECNR page to the passport office for verification during passport application process.  

Difference between ECR vs Non-ECR (ECNR) Indian Passport

The main difference of having ECR vs Non-ECR on your Indian passport is your ability to travel and work in certain countries. If your passport has ECR notation or stamp, then you need to get “Emigration Clearance” from the office of the Protector of Emigrants (POE), if you plan to work in certain list of countries.

“Emigrate” means, migrate to other country for work. The whole idea of Emigration Clearance for ECR passport holders is to safeguard unskilled workers from being exploited, when they plan to work outside of India in unskilled jobs. The Emigration Clearance process makes sure the unskilled workers go through proper certified agents, credentials are evaluated and other checks are done to protect them from fraud. Check Handbook for migrant workers from eMigrate.gov.in

What to select for ECR Question in Indian Passport Application Form  ?

You will come across this question : “Are you eligible for Non-ECR Category?”, when you are filling out Indian passport application form. As described above, if you have NOT passed 10th class/grade ( Matriculation or high school pass certificate)  and do not satisfy any of the above listed Non-ECR category criteria, then you would need to select NO.
      Alternatively, if you have passed 10th grade/class, or have qualification above that, or if you fall under any of the above listed Non-ECR category criteria, then you would select YES.  

How would I know, if my passport is ECR or Non-ECR ?

If your passport falls under ECR category, your passport will have it listed clearly with either a stamp/ notation or full text “EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED”.  For passport before Jan 2007, it used to be a stamp , for latest passports you will find the text written/endorsement in the address page of the passport.

Usually for passports issued after Jan 2007, if you do not find any endorsement / printed text / notation in the passport that says “EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED”, then your passport falls under Non-ECR category. The practice of putting Non-ECR (previously ECNR) stamp has been discontinued and you only see Printed Text notation in passport, see below screenshot of sample notation.

Sample ECR Endorsement / Notation in Passport

Below is sample screenshot of How ECR notation looks like in typical Indian passport. It is at the end of the passport, where you would see address and other details. 

Emigration Check Required - ECR Sample Latest Passport
ECR Notation in Indian Passports issued after 2007

Below is sample for ECR that was for passport issued before 2007. Below is sample for ECR, where the passport officer has crossed the ENCR part and left it as ECR. in Some cases, you would have a Stamp too.

Indian Passport Old - ECNR Status
ECR Notation in Old Passports before 2007

Children or Minors Passport Classification – ECR or Non-ECR ?

   All children below the age of 18 years are eligible for Non-ECR till they attain the age of 18 years. Once they reach 18 years of age, they would need to provide proof like 10th class or higher education certificate during Passport Renewal to have their passport classified as Non-ECR. If they fail to provide that proof, then the passport would get notation or printed text as in above screenshot with “EMIGRATION CHECK REQUIRED”

ECR Passport – Emigration Clearance to work in Certain Countries ?

As per the Emigration Act-1983, Indian Passport holders under ECR category, who wish to travel to below list of countries for employment will have to obtain Emigration Clearance from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.  

As per the Indian Bureau of Immigration (BOI), the following countries :

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • Qatar
  • Jordan
  • Yemen
  • Sudan
  • Afghanistan
  • Oman
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Malaysia
  • Libya
  • Indonesia
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Thailand

As of now, there is a ban on emigration to Iraq.

Can you change ECR to Non-ECR in Indian Passport ?

Yes, you can.  If your passport was ECR category in the past and now you qualify to be Non-ECR category due to changes in your situation either age, education or marital status, etc. then, you can follow the below steps to have it corrected from ECR to Non-ECR

Process to Change from ECR to Non-ECR Indian Passport

   You can apply for passport re-issue by selecting YES for  question “Are you eligible for Non-ECR Category?” during the passport application process and submit relevant proofs for your eligibility like your 10th or matriculation pass certificate or degree certificate, income tax statements, etc.  depending on your eligibility criteria. You can read How to apply for Indian Passport Re-issue Steps

Common FAQs

For ECR Passport, do I need Emigration Clearance for Tourism and Pleasure ?

You do not need Emigration Clearance for the above listed countries as ECR Passport holder, if you are traveling to above listed countries for purpose other than employment like for tourism, pleasure or visiting friends/relatives. For the purpose of tourism or visiting friends all you have to do is provide a valid passport, valid visa and return ticket at the immigration counters at international airports in India. These guidelines came into effect from  Oct 2007.

I have selected ECR by mistake in Application online, my options ?

You can indicate the mistake done by you at the Passport Seva Kendra and get it corrected by showing proper proofs that you need for non-ECR category.

What is Emigrate or Emigration ?

In general, it means leaving your home country with plan to work in abroad or any place outside of India.

What is Emigration Clearance for Indian ECR Passport ?

It is process that is administered by Indian Govt body “Protector of Emigrants (PoE)” to make sure all unskilled workers leaving India are working through certified agents, have proper credentials, etc. to make sure they are not exploited in foreign countries.

Did I miss anything ? Share your thoughts and experiences.

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Comments ( 100 )

  1. Ganesh

    Hi Kumar,
    I am 41 years old and I am about to renew my passport for 2nd time. I’m a Master’s degree holder but currently all my educational certificates (original) are with my sister who lives in our hometown. I live and work in a different city. Owing to lockdown and related travel restrictions, I’m unable to be in physical possession of the education qualification originals.
    I have lived overseas for about 4 years out of last 6.5 years. One of the criteria for Non-ECR listed is this:
    “Individuals who have spent three years overseas and their spouses”. I’m in a position to provide evidence for the same through exit and entry stamps in my passport and provide a detailed written statement as mentioned in passport india portal.
    My question is: would this be sufficient enough to get me Non-ECR status for my passport renewal?
    Please provide guidance on my question.
    Thank you.
    Regards, Ganesh.

  2. sean

    Being a new passport is a great thing in itself, in such a situation people do not think about the type and status of the passport document, but now it is not so slow, the passport is becoming a common identity document and someone he also wants to have a passport. Therefore, it is very important that we all know ECR & NON-ECR Category Means and the fee you have to pay to register a new passport.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Hermab,
      Do not worry, when you go to the Appointment, tell them the mistake and they will correct it for you on the day of the passport appointment.

  3. Dipak

    Respected Sir,
    Greetings.

    If a person has an ECR passport and has not passed class 10th, can he visit Australia for official purpose ?

    Your response will be highly appreciated.

    1. Wakil ahmad

      Respected sir,

      My name is wakil I am employed in saudi arabia so,I want to bring my wife in visit visa but her passport is Ecr so.is this immigration required or not required

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Wakil,
        Check with the country you plan to get your wife to, if there are any restrictions…In general, there should not be for visiting.

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Dipak,
      In general, having ECR does not bar you from entering another country. You can check with Australian embassy, if any restrictions exist. Generally, ECR restrictions only relevant for some countries in middle east.

  4. Sudhakar Reddy

    Hi Sir,

    I have lost my 10th Marks, i have my 12th and Degree original certificates.

    Is that sufficient for Non ECR, please reply asap, because i have appointment tomorrow.

    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sudhakar,
      The requirement is 10th or higher certificate. So, it should be sufficient. Do update here for community benefit, after you go for appointment on how it goes.

    2. Arjun uttam kavathekar

      Dear sir maine ECR passport nikala hai. Muze malum nahita ki jo 10th pass hai unko agar baher ki country mai job karna padta hai tab ECNR passport lagta hai.
      To ab kya karna padega muze ECNR passport niklwane keliye.please healp mi sir.

        1. Sara

          Hi I have ecr passport due to my health reasons I couldn’t finish my 10 th but I have done yoga trainer course using that can I change my passport to non ecr please expecting for your reply

  5. Manisha Poosarla

    Hi sir, my cousin have lost his 10th certificate due to some luagage Miss,she have aadhar pan card and some other address proofs.if she provide 10th duplicate copy will be there any enquiry.can I know about it.this is for her job.so can she apply for ecr

  6. Jahar Lal Paul

    I am 45 yrs & do not pass 10th class & my wife is also same as me .What catagory passport can we apply, ecr/non ecr? Our one child below 18 yrs & does not pass 10th and one child is 18 yrs one month aged.Which catagory they can apply ? Pls inform.Tnks & Regards.

  7. Cyril

    Hi,
    I applied for a fresh passport but it has been marked as ECR since my school and college mark sheets reflect my first and middle name along with my surname whereas aadhar and pan card display my first name, father’s name and surname (but not middle name). How do I get my passport changed to non ECR? What documents would be required to validate my marksheet?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Cyril,
      You should have all the details in Marksheets, Aaadhar card to be same. If you already have a passport, those details should match too. They will verify all three. So, your goal is to get the names to be same, do whatever you can and get them same, then you can get it corrected.

          1. Aman sharma

            Hi sir I have ecr passport and I want to go German for one year …..for social work ….. please tell me 9953452766

  8. Benin

    Sir im 19 i lost my all tc and marksheets i want to chage my passport to ecnr can i do with my hotel management certificate?? Plzz replay sir

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Benin,
      I am not sure, if they would allow that, you need to check with the Passport office. Call the customer service. You can always get duplicate, try doing that to be safe.

    2. Milan Milan

      Hii sir i am 23 year old and when i apply for my passport i submitted my 10 class certificate and now i want add my surname . But now i am applying again my passport but i am so confused am i fall into NON -ECR category or ECR . BUT in my old passport it doesnot say any thing according to some website they are saying when you are fall in ECR category they are mention clearly on the top .plzzz reply sir i am so confused.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Milan,
        If your passport does not say you are under ECR Category, you are not in that. See the screenshot in article, if it says like that then only it is ECR.
        In any case, you have 10th class pass certificate, so submit the same and apply as Non-ECR now, when you are doing the change to the name.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        vinod,
        Well, they may or may not check your passport ECR status for work in US. I would suggest you check with your US employer on the visa type you plan to go first and then go from there, if ECR passport works.

  9. Sivakumar

    Dear sir,
    I have Higher Scecondary TC (Original) and 10th attested Mark sheet, and have three years of IT filing copy, can I apply for ECNR passport

  10. Pradip

    Dear kumar,
    I’m having non ecr passport since 2009. I applied for the renewal as per passport officer I can’t get non ecr passport now because I have done my 10th class from nios ( national institute of open schooling.) Which is not valid . 10 year I used non ecr passport and I have 5 year international experience. I worked in uae 5 years. In my case i need your suggestion .

    Thank
    Pradip

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Pradip,
      If the RPO has said that you need some different proof, then you need to get the same. You can try to ask the RPO on what else is needed to get non ECR. If you get a bachelors degree, you can use that to get non-ECR…do update here after you speak to RPO.

  11. Bhavani

    .sir I am 55 years old.i want to renewal my passport.i don’t have any educational certificates, can I renew my passport with aadhar and electric city bill???

  12. kumar

    Sir/Madam, I’ve completed Three year Diploma(Engineering) after 12th. What should i select in Educational Qualification – Graduation & Above or 10th Pass & Above.
    Thanks

      1. Abbas

        Sir, i have completed school till 8th standred
        i hv not completed 10th
        So in my passport ECR is written so to remove ECR
        Will the (income tax payment bill) from last year is enough to remove ecr can i get it removed from income tax bill?

  13. Phanindra

    Hi , plz clarity my doubt ,

    I have freshly applied with Non ECR option as NO.
    And I’m yet to go on appointment day.

    Can i submit my degree documents there nd request them to change to NON ECR as YES. ???

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Phanindra,
      Yes, you should be able to get it corrected, if you have a degree. mention to them that you did a mistake and they will correct it during appointment. Carry your 10th class and higher education documents.

    2. Manoj Kumar

      I and wife are 60+ in age. I retired from bank. We want to apply for ecnr passport. I hv matric marksheet and provisional certificate of graduation. My wife’s matric certificate/mark sheet is misplaced but she had graduation mark sheet/degree. After marraige I deleted her surname which was cast related. Now the name in Adhar, PAN and election card is same but differ with degree. I file ITR every year. She also filed ITR but in ‘nil”. To get EVNR Passport what should we do.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Manoj,
        Both of you are eligible for ECNR passport as you are over 50 years of age. No need of other certificates or anything.

  14. Rizwan Alam

    Sir In my 10th certificate and Aadhaar my father name has some Spelling error. So can I show my Degree Certificate in place of 10th certificate For Non Ecr pasport.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, you could technically use it…But, it is up to them to accept or not. You should get the spelling errors corrected, if you can in certificates.

  15. Gangadhar kumari

    Dear madam sir,
    My name is Gangadhar kumari I was applied passport renewal this date 26 August 2019 in Secunderabad.because my passport ECR to ECNR change .but i need passport urgently because my previous company asking passport making visa sir
    I have 4 years more then experience Qatar and Kuwait
    my file no HY4072381913719
    Date of birth” 18/05/1982 .
    Name ” GANGADHAR KUMARI
    I went two time Hyderabad Secunderabad .please I need passport urgently. when i will receive my passport . please give me information .waiting for your reply

  16. GAUTAM KUMAR

    Dear sir,
    I wish to apply for passport, please explain my problem as below :
    1. I am resident of Jharkhand and having Adhar card/voter ID card .
    2. I am residing in UP since long time , and have been issued passport issued by Bareilly, which is now expired.
    3. Now i am residing near Lucknow and wish to re-issue passport from lucknow.
    4. I am graduate (but presently graduation certificate not available) and regular Income tax payee .
    5. NON-ECR/ ECR which one will be best for us.
    please suggest on above issue.

    thanks
    Gautam kumar

  17. Kiran

    I am graduate and my passport is in ECR category.currently I received official schengen visa to travel for visit and my flight is after 2 day so can possiblities to face any difficulties or I need to change ecnr passport please suggest.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It should be fine for your travel. You should correct your passport, when you return by providing proper proof of your graduation.

  18. Sagar

    My dad is 58 years old and wants to apply for a passport but does not have his original education certificate but have photohcopy and also doesn’t have birth certificate , can he still apply for a passport and which category NCR or Non-NCR

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, you need some sort of documentation to prove that he is 58 years old. He would get it as Non-ECR as he is above 50 years. You need either birth certificate or school leaving certificate for that…

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, he can. He automatically qualifies for Non-ECR category due to his age. You need to submit either birth certificate or go to his old school and get the school leaving certificate for age verification.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      The requirements does not explicitly talk about State Literacy Mission’s document. Check https://portal2.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/onlineHtml/NonEcrDocuments.html

  19. AARTHI

    I wish to apply for a new passport but i have submitted my 10th and 12th certificate to the institution they will return back only after 3years of my course completion but i have my orignal marks card of degree for the 1st year published by the recognized university.is this is ok to apply a passport

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You should be able to use 10th Class Transfer Certificate (TC) and try. Call the Passport Office or email them and check. You maybe able to use your degree details. See, if you can get a study certificate or something from them and try your luck. Also, try to ask the institution for the originals for passport and tell them you will return them after applying passport. Also, do share your feedback on how you applied with community here after you apply.

  20. Pramod chaudhari

    I have filled the application for reissue request, however erroneousely selected N in the category of NON ECR, hence it may get consider as ECR, where in, I need NON ECR or ECNR Category, please suggest how to rectify it, since appointment has been booked.

  21. pawan

    My adhar card is having my permanent address but my communication address is diffrent .can i use my adhar card as address proof ?

  22. Lalit

    Hi,

    My parents are at 50+ yrs of age.I am applying for Non-ECR but my mother doesnt have either Birth Certificate or School leaving certificate as mentioned in “Documents Required for Non-ECR” for “All persons above the age of 50 years”.we just have Adhaar card and PAN Card.Can I apply for passport.Please assist.

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      I am not sure, if the passport office would accept those certificates for age proof. You can give it it a try with Aadhar Card. If it is not too much effort, you should get a birth certificate or some letter from the municipal office that indicates her date of birth or age…If you have access to her school, you could get the transfer certificate as well…Please do share your experience with community after you apply…

      1. Mohammed Muzammil

        Hi Lalith

        Did you applied for your parents passport as my concern is also reliable to your comment,i need to apply passport for my dad(62 yrs) as he doesn’t have any certificates only having the Aadhar card,voter id,pan card,passbook and electricity bill

        please share your experience if you applied for that

    2. Nishitha

      Hi Lalit,

      Please let me know what happened when you took Aadhar card and PAN card as age proof in passport office. Because I am having the same problem. Booked an appointment for my mother ages 50+ but she have only aadhar card and pan card.

  23. praveen kumar

    sir ,my passport falls under ECR category but i have passed x th std but the reason is i dont have original document like marksheet, & t.c i have only xerox copy of that & also my name has changed if i want to change my ECR to NON ECR is it possible reply me

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You would need original for any corrections in passport or get a Non ECR passport. Go to the school or State Education department and get duplicate X class certificate, otherwise, it may be difficult without proof to change it to ECNR.

  24. rajita kote

    i pass 12th than also thay write on my passport emigation check required…..i want to remove from my passport sooo what to do for that…plz help me

  25. Mounika Reddy

    Hi.. I am planning to apply for my parents who have not studied 10th grade. Do I need to mark YES or NO and also do they need to provide any school certificates ?
    Can you please let me know
    Thanks

  26. Manu sharma

    I am applying for my daughter passport she is 6 years old .. what category I have to opt for non ecr category .. do I tick yes or no??

    1. kumar

      You can mark non-ecr as ‘NO’ it is to be marked yes when an individual having a qualification certificates from 10th std on wards. since your child is 6Yrs old only so you can opt as no.

  27. Suraj Srivastava

    Sir, My passport is ECR & I want to change in ECNR, I have already done my Education like graduation but Age diffrent between Marksheet and Aadharcard (3yrs) , Now What should I ?
    Please suggest me best solution for it.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      For ECNR, you may or may not need the age to be fixed, but in the long run to avoid issues, you should fix the issues and correct your aadhar card or Marksheet, whichever is wrong.

  28. Dakshal

    If a person falls in any of the above category o f Non-ECR category listed in the “Passport Seva” webpage, then he/she has to select “YES” in the documents required question ” Is applicant eligible for Non-ECR category?” .
    It is adivised otherwise in the above article. Please correct it as it misguides the readers of this article.

  29. deep desai

    the passport appointment prosess has been complited without 10th,12th&degree cetificat but i have degree certificat then possibel any change ?

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