What are the emigration rules for Indian nationals? Which categories of persons do not require emigration checks?

What are the emigration rules for Indian nationals? Which categories of persons do not require emigration checks?
What are the emigration rules for Indian nationals? Which categories of persons do not require emigration checks?

Indian Nationals intending to go overseas for the purpose of employment need to undergo an emigration check done by the Protector of Emigrants (POEs). For a list of persons/categories of workers in whose case emigration check is not required visit the website of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Overseas Corporate Body (OCB) means a company, partnership firm, society and other corporate body owned directly or indirectly to the extent of at least sixty per cent by Non-Resident Indians and includes overseas trust in which not less than sixty percent beneficial interest is held by Non-resident Indians directly or indirectly but irrevocably, which was in existence as on September 16, 2003 and was eligible to undertake transactions pursuant to the general permission granted under Foreign Exchange Management Regulations.

NRIs can invest in India as under –

  • Investment under Automatic Route with repatriation benefits
  • Investment with Government approval
  • Other investments with repatriation benefits
  • Investments up to 100% equity without repatriation benefits
  • Other investments by NRIs/OCBs without repatriation benefits.

What are the abbreviations and terms commonly used in relation to Indian Diaspora?

What are the abbreviations and terms commonly used in relation to Indian Diaspora?
What are the abbreviations and terms commonly used in relation to Indian Diaspora?

Cited below is a list of abbreviations with their full forms that will reduce confusion regarding specific terms used in relation to Indian Diaspora.

  • ECR– Emigration Check Required
  • FEMA– Foreign Exchange Management Act
  • FIPB– Foreign Investment Promotion Board
  • KIP- Know India Programme
  • MEA– Ministry of External Affairs
  • MHA– Ministry of Home Affairs
  • MOIA– Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
  • NRI– Non-resident Indian
  • OCB– Overseas Corporate Body
  • OCI– Overseas Citizenship of India
  • PBD– Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
  • PIO– Persons of Indian Origin
  • JCI– Joint Commission International.

The Ministry has issued notifications granting registered Overseas Citizenship of India further benefits as under –

  1. Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children ;
  2. Parity with resident Indian nationals in matters of tariffs in domestic air fares ;
  3. Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India ;
  4. Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of:
    1. Entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
    2. Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:
      • Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;
      • Advocates;
      • Architects; and
      • Chartered Accountants; and
  5. Entitlement to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.

Is there a form to apply for assistance under the Overseas Indian Spouses?

Is there a form to apply for assistance under the Overseas Indian Spouses?
Is there a form to apply for assistance under the Overseas Indian Spouses?

A form is available on the website which after completing can be forwarded either to the concerned Indian embassy/Mission/Post or to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The applications for providing legal aid received by the Indian Missions/Posts would be examined by an officer designated by the Head of the Mission/Post on case-to-case basis and approved by Head of Mission/Deputy Chief of the Mission/Post.

The scheme is a welfare measure to support women of Indian origin who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses fraudulently, through the mobilization of the local Indian community in the endeavor and with some financial assistance from the Government. The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance for providing legal services to needy women.

What is the objective of the scheme for Indian Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouses?

What is the objective of the scheme for Indian Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouses?
What is the objective of the scheme for Indian Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouses?

The scheme is a welfare measure to support women of Indian origin who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses fraudulently, through the mobilization of the local Indian community in the endeavor and with some financial assistance from the Government. The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance for providing legal services to needy women.

The assistance would be available to women who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses or are facing divorce proceedings in a foreign country subject to the following conditions:-

  1. The woman is an Indian passport holder.
  2. The marriage of the woman has been solemnized and registered in India.
  3. The woman is deserted in India or after reaching abroad within five years of the marriage.
  4. Divorce proceedings are initiated within five years of the marriage by her overseas Indian spouse.
  5. An ex-parte divorce has been obtained by the overseas Indian spouse within 10 years of marriage and a case for maintenance and alimony is to be filed
  6. The scheme would not be available to a woman facing criminal charges or having a criminal case decided against her.
  7. The domicile of the woman seeking relief under the scheme is not relevant for allowing the benefit. The woman may be domiciled in the country of her overseas Indian spouse or in India at the time of making the application.
  8. Preference may be given to applicants on the basis of financial needs.
  9. Assistance will be limited to meeting initial cost and incidental charges for documentation and filing of the case by the Indian Women’s Organization/NGO on the woman’s behalf.
  10. The assistance will be limited to US $1000 per case and will be released to the Indian community organizations/NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case.
  11. The women’s organization/NGO will make efforts to enlist community advocates, preferably women advocates, to extend further legal assistance/ appearance in court etc on a pro-bono basis.

What precaution should be taken regarding advertisements for overseas jobs?

What precaution should be taken regarding advertisements for overseas jobs?
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.

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.

Who is an overseas (NRI) elector? Can an NRI settled in foreign land become an elector of electoral roll in India?

Who is an overseas (NRI) elector? Can an NRI settled in foreign land become an elector of electoral roll in India?
Who is an overseas (NRI) elector? Can an NRI settled in foreign land become an elector of electoral roll in India?

An overseas elector is a person who is a citizen of India and who has not acquired citizenship of any other country and is otherwise eligible to be registered as a voter and who is absenting from his place of ordinary residence in India owing to his employment, education or otherwise is eligible to be registered as a voter in the constituency in which his place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located.

According to the provisions of Section 20A of the Representation of People Act, 1950, an NRI settled in foreign land can become an elector in electoral roll in India.

Every Indian citizen who has attained the age of 18 years on the qualifying date i.e. first day of January of the year of revision of electoral roll, unless otherwise disqualified, is eligible to be registered as a voter in the roll of the part/polling area of the constituency where he is ordinarily resident.

Where does one find the Form ODI?

Where does one find the Form ODI?
Where does one find the Form ODI?

Application to Reserve Bank of India for Direct Investment in a Joint Venture/ Wholly Owned Subsidiary Abroad. Form ODI is available as an Annex to the ‘Master Circular on Direct Investment by Residents in Joint Venture (JV) / Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) Abroad’ dated July 1,2014’ available on the RBI website.

With effect from March 2, 2010, Authorized Dealers Category – I banks have to file Part I (Sections A to D), II and III of form ODI on-line in the Overseas Direct Investment Application with the Reserve Bank for allotment of UIN, reporting of subsequent remittances, filing of APRs, etc. AD Category – I banks would continue to receive the ODI forms in physical form from the Indian Party.

Financial commitment means the amount of direct investments outside India by an Indian Party –

  1. by way of contribution to equity shares or CCPS of the JV / WOS abroad
  2. contribution to the JV / WOS as preference shares (for reporting purpose to be treated as loan)
  3. as loans to its the JV / WOS abroad
  4. 100% of the amount of corporate guarantee issued on behalf of its overseas JV/WOS and
  5. 50% of the amount of performance guarantee issued on behalf of its overseas JV/WOS.
  6. bank guarantee/standby letter of credit issued by a resident bank on behalf of an overseas JV / WOS of the Indian party, which is backed by a counter guarantee / collateral by the Indian party
  7. Creation of charge (pledge / mortgage / hypothecation) on the movable / immovable property or other financial assets of the Indian party / its group companies

What measures have been taken by the Government to protect the interests of emigrating workers?

What measures have been taken by the Government to protect the interests of emigrating workers?
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.

What is ‘financial commitment’?

What is ‘financial commitment’?
What is ‘financial commitment’?

Financial commitment means the amount of direct investments outside India by an Indian Party –

  1. by way of contribution to equity shares or CCPS of the JV / WOS abroad
  2. contribution to the JV / WOS as preference shares (for reporting purpose to be treated as loan)
  3. as loans to its the JV / WOS abroad
  4. 100% of the amount of corporate guarantee issued on behalf of its overseas JV/WOS and
  5. 50% of the amount of performance guarantee issued on behalf of its overseas JV/WOS.
  6. bank guarantee/standby letter of credit issued by a resident bank on behalf of an overseas JV / WOS of the Indian party, which is backed by a counter guarantee / collateral by the Indian party
  7. Creation of charge (pledge / mortgage / hypothecation) on the movable / immovable property or other financial assets of the Indian party / its group companies

An undertaking to commit substantial expenditure at a future date. Such pledges are deemed liabilities and must be shown as such in the firm’s balance sheet (as accompanying notes or footnotes) even if the expense has not yet been incurred to have become an actual liability.

There are a large number of Indian workers in the Gulf nations. Are there any special guidelines for Indians immigrating to the Gulf region for employment?

There are a large number of Indian workers in the Gulf nations. Are there any special guidelines for Indians immigrating to the Gulf region for employment?
There are a large number of Indian workers in the Gulf nations. Are there any special guidelines for Indians immigrating to the Gulf region for employment?

The Protector General of Emigrants has issued the following guidelines especially for people going to the Gulf for employment:

  • If you are a foreign worker in Saudi Arabia, you can be arrested if you are found without your ‘Iqama’ at any place or time. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), laws demand that you must not move about in public without your ‘Bataka’. Iqamas and Batakas are identity cards issued by the two countries to all foreign workers soon after they settle down in their jobs.
  • Most of the Gulf countries do not permit any change in employer. On the termination of your contract, even if it is premature, you must leave the country.
  • People seeking jobs abroad must deal only with the registered recruiting agents and must not pay more than the prescribed service charges. Receipts of all payments made to the recruiting agent should be obtained and preserved.
  • Emigrant workers must obtain their service agreements in both English and Arabic and must not in the country of employment part with their passports and copies of the service contracts.
  • Non-payment or delayed payment of wages can be reported to Indian embassy.
  • In Saudi Arabia, a worker cannot take up additional employment. If the worker is discharged without valid reason, he can file a stay application with the Director of Labor Office within 15 days.