A person can take up employment in a foreign country either through a registered recruiting agent or directly through a foreign employer or a project exporter.
Where can one get detailed information about rules, regulations and procedures about overseas employment?
CHECK BEFORE DEPARTURE:
IN THE COUNTRY OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT
Is there any ban on deployment of Indian women to foreign countries?
For protection and security of women emigrants, no emigration clearance is granted to women below 30 years of age holding ECR pasport. This restriction applies to women emigrants having ECR endorsed passports and going to any of the 17 ECR countries.
What precaution should be taken regarding advertisements for overseas jobs?
In case of ad by a Registered Recruiting Agent, it must be checked that registration certificate number is clearly mentioned. Similarly, ads by Foreign Employers and Project Exporters should indicate their permit number. Full address with Telephone Number, Post Box Number, e-mail address of the advertiser should be mentioned in addition to the job and salary particulars to enable the respondent to check the veracity of the job and the employers. Clarifications in this regard could be sought from the office of any Protector General of Emigrants on the helpline.
Attestation of employment documents by the Indian Mission concerned is mandatory in the case of recruitment of "unskilled workers" and "housemaids" for any of 17 ECR countries. Aattestation is required for all categories of workers in Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait.
What are the documents needed to be submitted by skilled or semi-skilled workers planning to emigrate?
Semi-skilled workers, who seek emigration clearance directly from the Protectors of Emigrants (PoEs), and not through recruiting agents, are required to produce the following documents in original:
What are the documents needed to be submitted by unskilled workers planning to emigrate?
Unskilled workers and a household service workers seeking employment abroad should furnish (in original) the following documents at the time of obtaining emigration clearance:
On what grounds can an application for emigration clearance be rejected?
Subject to other provisions of the Emigration Act 1983, the PoE may reject an application for emigration clearance on any one or more of the following grounds:
To streamline recruitment for overseas employment and to safeguard the interests of the emigrants, the Emigration Act 1983 stipulates that only recruiting agents duly registered under the Act can conduct the business of recruitment for overseas employment.
What has one to ensure before entering into any transaction with the recruiting agent?
First ensure that the agent has displayed his Registration Certificate (RC) which is valid at that point of time. Then note down the particulars of job and foreign employer and cross check the same with the foreign employer as well as on Prior Approval Category (PAC) list on this website. In case of doubt, verify the genuineness of the job as well as the employer through Indian Mission in that country on telephone or through e-mail, the details of which are available on www.meaindia.nic.in and www.india.gov.in.
DO NOT handover any money, your passport, educational or experience certificates to the agent unless the genuineness of the job and employer has been established.
DO NOT pay more than the prescribed fee (Rs. 5000/- for skilled workers, Rs. 3000/- for semi-skilled workers, Rs. 2000/- for unskilled workers and Rs. 10000/- for highly skilled workers) and take receipt against any payment made.
What are service charges that a prospective emigrant needs to pay to a recruiting agent?
Recognizing that the recruiting agents are providing a service to prospective emigrants, the Government has allowed them to levy service charges. However, in a bid to prevent exorbitant charges, the Government has limited the maximum service charges that such agents can charge from each worker. The following are the rates of service charges category-wise:
Unskilled workers: Rs. 2,000
Semi-skilled workers: Rs. 3,000
Skilled workers: Rs. 5,000
Others: Rs. 10,000
How can a person lodge complaint against the agents or get their grievances redressed?
Complaints against recruiting agents could be addressed either through post or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Complaints can also be filed with any of the eight Protector of Emigrants or dropped in the box marked Protector General of Emigrants kept at the reception area of Akbar Bhavan, Chankyapuri, New Delhi. A toll free Helpline No.1800-11-3090 can also be reached. Besides all these, the aggrieved person can meet the Protector General of Emigrants in the “Public Hearing” meetings without any prior appointment which are held at 3.00 p.m. on every Tuesday at the office of Protector of Emigrants, Canteen Block, Jaisalmer House, Man Singh Road, New Delhi.
How can a person lodge complaints against the foreign employers to get their grievances redressed?
An aggrieved emigrant can file his complaint with the Indian Mission in that country on telephone or through e-mail, the details of which are available on www.meaindia.nic.in and www.india.gov.in. They can also take recourse to the options mentioned in reply to Q.7 above.
Direct recruitment is permitted in the case of foreign employers who have obtained a permit from the competent authority in this regard.
In an effort to further safeguard the interests of emigrant workers from India, the Government of India has introduced the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY), an insurance scheme compulsory for all workers going abroad on ECR passports (except to countries for which emigration check is not required) for employment. It was during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, held in 2003 that the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, announced the scheme. The scheme was revised in February 2006 to increase the insurance cover from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and add other benefits for the workers. In 2008 the cover was further enhanced to Rs 10 lakh. It is an indicator of the Government's commitment to look after the interests of Indian workers employed abroad.
What is the cover offered by the scheme to the insured person?
Initially, the scheme offered an insurance cover of Rs. 2 lakh payable to the nominee/legal heir in the event of death or permanent disability of any Indian emigrant while in employment abroad and who had obtained the emigration clearance certificate before going abroad.
However, at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006 held in Hyderabad, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced increase of the PBBY cover from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh to provide broader coverage to the emigrant workers. In 2008 the cover was further enhanced to Rs 10 lakh. PBBY covers the entire period of the employment contract or two years, whichever is longer.
What are the other salient features of PBBY?
Besides offering a cover of Rs. 10 lakh, the insurance scheme offers several other benefits to the emigrant worker and his/her dependants.
In case of death, besides the cost of transporting the body, the cost incurred on the one-way airfare of one attendant is reimbursed by the insurance company.
If a worker is not received by the employer on his arrival at the destination abroad or there is any substantive change in the employment contract to his disadvantage or if the employment is prematurely terminated within the period of employment for no fault of the emigrant, the insurance company reimburses one way economy class airfare provided the grounds of repatriation are certified by the Indian Mission/post concerned.
In cases where the repatriation is arranged by the Indian Mission/post, the insurance company reimburses the actual expenses to the Indian Mission/post concerned.
The insurance policy is valid for a minimum period of two years or the actual period of contract, whichever is longer.
The insured person is covered for a minimum sum of Rs. 25,000 in connection with the legal expenses incurred by him in any litigation relating to his/her employment. In case of women workers the policy provides maternity benefit of Rs 20,000.
What are the medical benefits that are offered by the scheme?
PBBY offers the following medical benefits to the insured person and his/her dependants:
The insured person is reimbursed actual one-way economy class airfare by the insurance company, if he falls sick or is declared medically unfit to commence or continue working and the service contract is terminated by the foreign employer within 12 months of taking the insurance.
The insurance policy also provides medical cover of a minimum of Rs. 50,000 as cash-less hospitalization or reimbursement of actual medical expenses of the insured emigrant worker on grounds of accidental injuries or sickness occurring during the period of insurance whether in India or in the country of his employment.
The insurance policy provides maternity benefits, subject to minimum cover of Rs. 20,000 in case of women emigrants provided the requisite documents are certified by the Indian Mission/post concerned.
The family of the emigrant worker in India consisting of spouse and two dependent children up to 21 years of age are entitled to hospitalization cover in the event of death or permanent disability of the insured person for a maximum amount of Rs. 25,000 per annum.
What premium is to be paid by the worker for the PBBY?
The insurance company charges fair and reasonable premium (about Rs. 275 and Rs. 375 for policy periods of 2 and 3 years respectively). Taxes are charged as applicable. The Government has also stipulated that an emigrant can select a company of his/her choice for the insurance cover.
An emigrant, on return, entitled to withdraw the security deposit after lapse of a period of three years from the date of deposit. The emigrant is required to personally present his/her passport and the used ticket along with the Bank Receipt to the POE concerned. The deposit can be withdrawn from the Bank after taking approval from the POE. Kindly note that no security deposit is obtain for the emigrant since the launch of PBBY in 2003.
The ministry is pursuing a proactive policy to transform the emigration system and empower the emigrants through systemic interventions at the national, bilateral as well as multilateral fronts.
The emigration clearance system has been computerized. A project for comprehensive implementation of E-Governance is underway to make the entire emigration process simple, quick, effective, transparent and accountable by linking all stakeholders on a common platform.
MOUs are being signed with the host countries for bilateral cooperation in deployment and protection of workers.
It is the endeavor of the Ministry to diversify the overseas destination base for the Indian workers through bilateral cooperation by signing labor mobility partnership agreements with countries where employment opportunities for foreign workers are likely to emerge in future. Bilateral social security agreements are being pursued with the developed countries to protect the social security interests of Indian professionals.
A scheme has been launched for skill up gradation and pre-departure orientation of potential emigrants. Indian Community Welfare Funds have been created in the ECR countries to provide on-site welfare services to emigrants.
The recruitment experience since the enactment of the Emigration Act in 1983 has shown severe shortcomings leading to exploitation of the emigrants. It is now proposed to revamp the recruitment system to make it more professional and accountable by undertaking a host of reforms social audit of security agents, introducing a rating system and establishing a national professional body of recruiting agents (RA).
To advise the Government overseas employment matters and to develop strategies and good practices in migration management through research, studies, the Ministry has recently established an Indian Council for Overseas Employment.
The Ministry is operating a 24 X 7 Helpline under the Overseas Worker Resource Centre (OWRC) to provide information and assistance to the emigrants and their families. Multimedia awareness campaign has been launched to educate the emigrants about the emigration procedures, risks involved, precautions to be taken and the rights and obligations of the emigrants.
The Protector General of Emigrants has issued the following guidelines especially for people going to the Gulf for employment:
The complaints made by emigrants or intending emigrants against the registered recruiting agents are examined by the Protector General of Emigrants, if necessary in consultation with the Indian Mission abroad. Action is taken, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Emigration Act, 1983, and rules framed thereunder.
Complaints against unauthorized/illegal recruiting agents are referred to the police authorities for investigation.
Complaints against foreign employers are taken up with the Indian Missions abroad. A recalcitrant foreign employer is blacklisted (by placing him in the PAC list) from future recruitment in consultation with the Indian Mission. A list of foreign employers under the Prior Approval Category (PAC) is available on the website of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs at www.moia.gov.in.
What is the nature of complaints made by Indian workers going abroad for employment?
As a result of progressive liberalization, the number of Indians going abroad for employment has increased significantly. However, there have been cases of emigrants facing serious difficulties including exploitation at the hands of foreign employers. Following are the types of complaints received by the offices of the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) and Protectors of Emigrants (POEs):
What measures have been taken by the Government to protect the interests of emigrating workers?
The Government is committed to protect the interests of Indian emigrants. The PGE makes all efforts to redress the grievances of the emigrants with the help of the recruiting agents, the Indian Missions/posts abroad, foreign governments and/or foreign employers concerned. The Indian Missions provide assistance and take up complaints/grievances of Indian emigrant workers with the foreign authorities concerned for amicable settlement.
To check fraudulent practices, recruiting agents are required to furnish the demand letter and the power of attorney issued by the foreign employer as well as a specimen employment contract for obtaining emigration clearance.
All cases of recruitment by illegal recruiting agents are referred to the police for criminal action. All state and union territories have also been requested to instruct the police stations to keep a strict vigil against illegal recruitment.
Before you leave India to take up a job in a foreign country, you should ensure that:
Once you reach the destination country where you have been given a job, you should always remember that:
With regard to emigration to Indian students, the matter is under jurisdiction of Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
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Instructions - while entering India
Emigration Clearance sticker shall be pasted by the POE office only if the individual having an Emigration Check Required (ECR) Passport, approaches POE office himself or through a Recruiting Agent. ECR Endorsements on the passports are stamped by the Regional Passport Officers.
In case of unskilled worker, farm worker and women emigrant, Employment agreement attested by Indian Embassy is mandatory.
The Recruiting Agent seeking Emigration Clearance would have to Give an affidavit confirming the following:-
No female below the age of 30 years shall be granted Emigration Clearance for any type of work in any ECR country.
No clearance may be given for Anguilla.
Emigration clearance to workers for Libya.
Note: Emigration Clearance for a particular country shall be granted in accordance with the policy/orders of Government of India, as in force from time to time.
The Protector of Emigrants may reject an application for emigration on the following grounds:
24X7 Toll-free Helpline No. 800 46342 in UAE
Indian Workers Resource Center (IWRC),
No 202, Al Jawahara Buildings,
Habib Zurich Bank, Bank Street, Bur Dubai, UAE
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MGPSY FAQ English
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Marriages to Overseas Indians a Guidance Booklet
FAQ’s Fraudulent Marriage/Cheating by NRI Spouse