‘Staffing of nurses only via state-run agencies in ECR countries’

Indian embassy in Kuwait clarifies that Indian nurses are placed under the ECR regime so that emigration clearance happens in a transparent process via eMigrate

Photo by Vivek Nair/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Vivek Nair/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

The Indian embassy in Kuwait reiterates that the restriction imposed by the Indian government in the recruitment of nurses via a few designated state-run agencies only was part of a move to make the process transparent.

The embassy in a statement said the restriction has been in effect since May 2015 after some private hospitals in Kuwait enquired it about the process for recruitment of Indian nurses.

“It is reiterated that to streamline the recruitment of Indian nurses for work in Kuwait, the Government of India has restricted since May 2015 the recruitment of nurses through a few designated state-run recruiting agencies and placed nurses under the ‘ECR’ (emigration check required) regime so that emigration clearance through eMigrate becomes mandatory for them for any employment in any of the ECR countries,” it said.

The Ministry of External Affairs on its website says that the Emigration Act, 1983 provides that no citizen of India shall migrate unless he obtains emigration clearance from ‘Protector of Emigrants’ (PoE) – an authority under the Ministry and is responsible for protecting the interest of Indian workers going abroad.

Also, the eMigrate system fully automates the operations of all key stakeholders in the emigration lifecycle like Indian Missions, Protector General of Emigrants (PGoE), PoE, employers, project exporter, recruiting agents, emigrants and insurance agencies are electronically linked on a common platform.

Similarly, it has been recognised that currently 17 countries do not have strict laws regulating the entry and employment of foreign nationals. They also do not provide avenues for grievance redressal. Thus, they have been categorised as ECR countries. Hence, all persons, having ECR endorsed passports and going to any of the 17 ECR countries for taking up employment require emigration clearance.

Besides Kuwait, emigration clearance is required for 16 other nations namely Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, the UAE and Yemen, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

However, the Ministry clarifies that ECR passport holders going to any ECR country for purposes other than employment do not require emigration clearance. No specific mention of ECNR (emigration check not required) is made on the passports and the ones not endorsed as ECR, automatically belong to ECNR category.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a nurse who has worked in one of the Gulf countries says that the private recruitment agencies would “fleece” the nurses, who usually come from poor families, while getting them jobs. “While the salaries in these countries would be much better than what we would earn in India, a substantial portion would go into paying back the commission to these agents,” she says.

“The process of recruitment of Indian nurses under eMigrate system is easy, transparent and user-friendly. Recruiting agencies in Kuwait which are keen to recruit Indian nurses for Kuwait should register themselves with the eMigrate system. The embassy has an eMigrate Helpdesk in its premises for those wishing to register in eMigrate system,” the embassy said.

Six state manpower corporations in India have been authorised for recruitment of Indian nurses abroad, it said.

They are Norka-Roots Centre, and Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants in Thiruvananthapuram; Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited, Chennai; UP Financial Corporation, Kanpur; Telangana Overseas Manpower Company, Hyderabad; and the Overseas Manpower Company of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada.

With PTI inputs

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