What’s ECR in Passport?

Passports serve as essential documents for international travel, serving as proof of citizenship and facilitating entry into foreign countries.

When it comes to Indian passports, there are two categories: ECR (Emigration Check Required) and Non-ECR (Emigration Check Not Required).

If you are traveling abroad finding out about the ECR and Non-ECR categories will help you understand more about it.

In this article, we will discuss what’s ECR in Passports, what is ECR Passports, what is non-ECR in Passports, the Benefits of ECNR or non-ECR Category on Passports, and much more.

What’s ECR in Passport

What is an ECR Passport?

An ECR (Emigration Check Required) passport is issued to Indian citizens who are categorized as “Emigration Check Required” based on certain criteria set by the Indian government.

Holders of ECR passports require emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) when traveling to certain countries for employment opportunities.

What is Non-ECR in Passport?

A Non-ECR (Emigration Check Not Required) passport is issued to Indian citizens who are not required to obtain emigration clearance for traveling to certain countries.

Holders of non-ECR passports can travel freely to these countries for various purposes, including tourism, business, or studies, without the need for emigration clearance.

Benefits of ECNR or Non-ECR Category on Passports

The following are the benefits of ECR and Non-ECR category passports-

  • Non-ECR passports can travel to certain countries without the need for emigration clearance making it easier to travel
  • Non-ECR passport holders can explore job opportunities abroad without requiring any clearance, especially taking a job-seeking visa is also easy
  • Non-ECR status allows students to pursue higher education in foreign universities without the hassle of emigration checks
  • Individuals with Non-ECR passports can engage in business activities abroad easily without any hassle of immigration
  • Non-ECR passport holders can enjoy hassle-free tourism in countries without additional emigration checks
  • Non-ECR status provides individuals with the flexibility to travel for various purposes

Eligibility for ECNR or Non-ECR in Passport

The following are the eligibility for the Non-ECR Passport-

  • Individuals who have completed at least 10th standard education or equivalent are eligible for non-ECR
  • Applicants above a certain age limit, usually 50 years or older, are eligible for non-ECR status regardless of their educational qualifications
  • Government employees including Diplomats and their families are eligible for non-ECR status
  • Individuals who have paid income tax for the last three years, with an average annual income above a specified threshold, are eligible for non-ECR status
  • Spouses and dependent children of individuals eligible for non-ECR status may also qualify for the same status

Documents Required for Non-ECR Status in Your Passport

The following are the documents required for a passport

Non-ECR Category of PassportDocuments Required for Application
Diplomatic passport holders or official passport holdersOther than a diplomatic passport, no other document is required
Gazetted government employees, their spouses and childrenFor Gazetted Government employees:(Anyone) Identity Certificate according to Annexure A NOC as per Annexure G PI letter according to Annexure H For children of Gazetted Government employees: (Anyone) Identity Certificate according to Annexure A Birth certificate Certificate of school leaving Copy of the passport of the government employee For spouses of the Gazetted Government employees: (Anyone) Identity Certificate according to Annexure A Photocopy of marriage certificate (attested) issued by the Registrar
All individuals with matriculation or higher qualificationsPass certificates of matriculation and higher education
All individuals above the age of 50 yearsFor 50-year-old people: (Anyone) Birth certificate Certificate of school leaving
All the children up to 18 years of age. In case of re-issue of passport, after they reach the age of 18 yearsCertificate of school leaving or birth certificate issued by The Municipal Authority or an officer authorized to issue birth certificate.
Income Taxpayers in their capacity, their dependents below 18 years of age children and spousesFor those that cover their taxes: A photocopy of the PAN card and assessment proof of income tax and actual income tax payment for the previous calendar year are necessary. Regarding partners of income taxpayers: A certified photocopy of the marriage license Children who require care: birth certificate, graduation diploma 
All the professional degree holders, their dependent children, and their spousesCertificate of professional degree For spouses of professional degree holders: (Anyone)   Photocopy of marriage certificate (attested) For dependent children: (Anyone) Birth certificate Certificate of school leaving
A three-year diploma or an equivalent degree from an institution recognized by the Central or State Governments of India, the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), or the State Council for Vocational Training (SCVT) Pass certificate issued by the institute
Nurses qualified with a degree recognized under the Indian Nursing Council Act. 1947Nursing Certificate
All persons who have lived abroad for three years or longer, as well as their spouses Photocopy of the passport including the page with ECR / non-ECR For the spouses:      Photocopy of marriage certificate (attested) The name of the spouse should be mentioned on each other’s passport. Applicant must submit a statement with all the details of entry and exit dates along with the passport for verification
Seamen who have their CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate), Deck Cadets and Sea CadetsContinuous Discharge Certificate
People with permanent immigration visas.Photocopy of the status of immigration visa or Permanent Resident card of the nation in which the individual stays at present

How to Convert Your Passport from non-ECR?

The following are the steps that you can follow to convert your passport from Non-ECR-

  • Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for ECNR status, if yes, then you’ll start by gathering all the documents mentioned below
  • Now, fill out the application form for the ECR status conversion application form with details like name, address, passport number, etc.
  • After filling out the application form, submit the application form along with the documents
  • The authorities will verify your documents and eligibility criteria for ECNR status and after approval, your passport will be updated to reflect the ECR status
  • Once the conversion process is complete, collect your updated passport with ECNR status from the passport office or it will be sent to your address via mail

Countries That Require an ECR Status

The following are the countries that require an ECR status-

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


What does ECR stand for in a passport?

ECR stands for Emigration Check Required, indicating that individuals with ECR passports require clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) to travel to certain countries.

Who needs an ECR passport?

Passport holders who have not completed their 10th standard education are typically issued ECR passports, subject to certain exceptions and criteria.

How can I check if my passport is ECR or ECNR?

You can check the ‘ECR’ stamp on the passport’s information page. If it has the ‘ECR’ stamp, it means Emigration Check is required.

Is it possible to convert an ECR passport to an ECNR?

Yes, individuals meeting specific criteria, such as higher education qualification or being over a certain age, can apply to convert their ECR passport to ECNR.

Can I travel to countries with an ECR passport?

Yes, you can travel to countries with an ECR passport, but you will require emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants (POE) before departure.