Jeddah: All Indian expatriates working in Gulf countries have to do a mandatory one-time registration on the country’s e-migrate platform. The rule is applicable to all Indian nationals working in Gulf and some other 17 countries listed by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Failure to do so will result in the off-loading of unregistered Indians at all international airports across India, starting January 1 2019. The dependents of NRIs living in gulf, such as spouses or children, need not register under the platform.
Those already working on employment visas, irrespective of duration of their stay or qualification, in any of these countries will have to register when they visit India and want to fly back again. Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh, Indian Consul General in Jeddah clarified that only one-time registration is required as long as an Indian remains on the same company’s employment visa. It is not necessary to register every time one goes back home unless there is a change in visa. As change of sponsorship required to register again to update the record when they travel to India.
Registration must be completed on the eMigrate portal, “http://www.emigrate.gov.in/“, between 21 days and 24 hours prior to the date of travel, according to new rule by Government of India. Details to be furnished include personal, visa and travel details, emergency contact details in India and destination country and contact details of foreign employer/sponsor in the destination country.
On successful completion of registration, the applicant will receive an SMS/email. Expatriates travelling to India on a short holiday or an emergency trip are also required to complete the registration, confirmed Noor Sheikh. “The process does not take more than three minutes,” he explained.
Indian mobile number must for registration
Since a one-time password (OTP) is required to complete the registration on the platform, NRIs are required to use an Indian mobile number to finish the formality, consul general added. Explaining the objective rationale behind the move, the top diplomat said: “It is to obtain details such as who the employer is, their contact and address details and who we can reach in case of an emergency in ECR countries. The idea is to be able to reach them [applicants or their emergency contact] in India and abroad if there is a need for assistance.”
According to officials, this is an additional measure by government to provide protection to Indian nationals seeking employment in Gulf region where not all blue-collar workers are in the ECR category. Some have higher educational qualifications but don’t get included in the e-migrate system. The new rule will help them”, they noted.
Launched in 2015, e-Migrate is an online registration system for foreign employers to recruit Indian workers. Indian citizens with ECR stamp on their passports have to get their jobs offers cleared through the e-Migrate system. The system was introduced to protect unskilled and illiterate blue-collar workers from contract substitution, exploitation and human trafficking. Besides six-nation bloc of GCC, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Yemen are the 18 countries listed by India as ECR. “Indian tops the world in the number of migrants sent abroad and more than half of the 16.59 million live in the Gulf region, according to a 2017 UN report titled ‘International Migration Report’.