Indians happy as govt halts online passport registration

The Indian government circular putting on hold the mandatory registration of ECNR passports.

Saudi Gazette

Jeddah —
In an apparent U-turn, the Indian government has postponed the decision on mandatory online registration of ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) passport holders with job visas in Saudi Arabia and 17 other countries, which was to come into effect from Jan. 1, 2019.

Welcoming the announcement, Indian Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh, said, “I am happy that Ministry of External Affairs has responded positively by deferring mandatory pre-registration and making participation in the process voluntary.”

He said different sections of the Indian community living in Kingdom had raised concerns about the mandatory registration rule.

“During my meetings with the community in Jeddah and also during visits to Abha, various quarters of the community had shared their concerns about the new rule”, the consul general added.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the decision was taken in response to the concerns raised by the Indian community in 18 countries. In a public notice issued on Wednesday, M C Luther, joint secretary & protector general of emigrants at MEA, said the competent authority has decided to keep the advisory regarding the registration of non-ECR passport holders in abeyance until further orders.

This is second decision that Indian government has put on hold after mounting pressure from the NRI community. Earlier it postponed the decision to change the color of passport for ECR passport holders.