Dubai: Visa applications with new Indian passports that do not have an ‘emigration clearance not required’ (ECNR) stamp are being rejected by the Ministry of Labour’s website, Gulf News has learnt.
The Indian government requires all citizens who have not passed secondary school and are applying to work in one of 17 specified countries, including the UAE, to have an emigration clearance stamp on a specific page of their passport.
Those with a secondary school pass or better needed an ECNR stamp.
However, as this was putting people through unnecessary hassle, the Protectorate of Emigrants abolished the need for the ECNR stamp and removed the page in October 2007.
Joseph B., who worked in Abu Dhabi for nearly a decade, recently moved to Dubai for a new job, but his visa application was initially rejected because his recently renewed passport didn’t have the ENCR stamp.
“My online application was rejected because the emigration clearance page was not there,” Joseph said.
“I complained with CGI [Consulate General of India] Dubai, but nothing happened for several days.
“Later somebody suggested me to show them the old passport which had ECNR stamp. Only then my visa was cleared.”
But not everyone has been successful.
Mohammad Ali, 40, is also a long-time Dubai resident. He was shocked when his company told him his visa application had been rejected.
On inquiry he found he was rejected because his new passport didn’t have the emigration clearance page.
Ali says time is running out because his visa has already expired and he is in the grace period.
The CGI Dubai, which has received several complaints, confirmed there has been an issue with new passports.
“We have received several complaints and our embassy in Abu Dhabi has taken up the issue with the Ministry of Labour,” said Ashok Babu, CGI Dubai’s media consul.
“We have clarified with them that the new passports don’t have the ‘emigration clearance’ page generally and that only in cases where clearance is required the ECR stamp will be there.”
He added that the Ministry of Labour is aware of the development has promised to change the system accordingly.
“I think the problem is already rectified because we haven’t received any complaints in the last two days,” Babu said.