Connecticut, US

Nov 28 2018

New Pre-Departure Registration Requirement for Some African, Asian and Middle Eastern Destinations

Afghanistan, Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates

The situation

Starting January 1, 2019, Indian nationals traveling to 18 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East will be required to register online on the e-Migrate portal prior to departure.

A closer look

  • Travelers affected. The registration requirement applies to Indian nationals who do not have an ‘Emigration Check Required’ stamp (non-ECR) in their passports traveling from India for employment to the below 18 countries, including those currently employed overseas under a valid visa and those travelling to these countries for the first time:
    • Afghanistan
    • Bahrain
    • Indonesia
    • Iraq
    • Jordan
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Malaysia
    • Oman
    • Qatar
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Sudan
    • Sudan
    • Syria
    • Thailand
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Yemen

       
  • Registration details. Travelers must register online via the e-Migrate portal from 21 days before the departure date (at the earliest) to at least 24 hours prior to departure. Travelers must provide personal information such as their names, passport number, country of employment and name of employer. After successful registration, they will need to print out the completed form and carry it with them to the airport at the time of travel. Registration is done once per each employer. If the employee changes employers, they must re-register.



Impact

Travelers who fail to register on the system prior to traveling will not be allowed to depart India.

Background

e-Migrate is an online registration system launched in 2015 to protect unskilled and blue-collar workers from exploitation and illegal recruitment. Previously, only Indian nationals whose passports were endorsed with a notification indicating ‘Emigration Check Required’ (ECR) needed to register via e-Migrate and obtain clearance from the office of Protector of Emigrants. With this change, holders of passports with no ECR endorsement will also be required to register with e-Migrate. However, they do not need to obtain emigration clearance, unlike ECR passport holders.

Looking ahead

Affected employees should complete the registration ahead of time to avoid being held at immigration checkpoints, missing their flights or other complications arising from non-compliance with the new requirement. Employers from the affected countries should be aware of this new requirement and encourage their employees to register to avoid travel delays.

Fragomen will continue to monitor the situation provide additional information as developments occur.

Fragomen in India is Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt) Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in India. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to IndiaQueries_NewPolicy@fragomen.com.