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How can one seek employment
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?
For detailed information
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
Is attestation of
employment documents necessary in all cases?
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:
•Passport valid for a minimum period of six months
•Valid employment visa
•Employment contract signed by foreign employer
•Challan towards deposit of prescribed fee
•Insurance policy from any of the listed companies under Pravasi Bharatiya Bima
Yojana (PBBY-2006 revised in 2008)
What are the documents needed to be submitted by unskilled workers planning to
Unskilled workers and a household service workers seeking employment abroad
should furnish (in original) the following documents at the time of obtaining
•Passport valid for a minimum period of six months
•Valid employment visa.
•Employment contract signed by the foreign employer and duly attested by the
Indian Mission or permission letter from the Indian Mission/post concerned.
•Challan towards deposit of prescribed fee
•Insurance policy (from any of the listed companies under Pravasi Bharatiya Bima
Yojana (PBBY-2006 revised in 2008)
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
•That the terms and conditions of employment which the applicant proposes to
take up are discriminatory or exploitative.
•That the employment which the applicant proposes to take up involves work of a
nature which is unlawful according to the laws of India or goes against the
public policy of India or violates the norms of human dignity and decency.
•That the applicant will have to work or live in sub-standard working or living
•That having regard to the prevailing circumstances in the country or place
where the applicant proposes to take up employment or any other relevant
circumstances, it would not be in the interest of the applicant to emigrate.
•That no provision or arrangement has been made for meeting the expenses which
may be incurred in case it becomes necessary to arrange for the repatriation to
India of the applicant, or that the provisions or arrangements made in this
regard are not adequate for the purpose.
Who are recruiting agents?
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.
How can one know that a recruiting agent (RA) is registered or not?
For a list of recruiting agents registered under the Emigration Act, 1983
What has one to ensure before entering into any transaction with the recruiting
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
DO NOT handover any money, your passport, educational or experience certificates
to the agent unless the genuineness of the job and employer has been
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
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
Can foreign employers go for
Direct recruitment is permitted in the case of foreign employers who have
obtained a permit from the competent authority in this regard.
What is Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana?
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
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
What are the medical benefits that are offered by the scheme?
PBBY offers the following medical benefits to the insured person and his/her
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
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.
What is the procedure for withdrawal of security deposited by an
An emigrant is 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. As such, withdrawal of security
is applicable only for those workers who emigrated before 2003
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
•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.
How does the Government of India handle complaints filed by emigrant
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.
Besides this, the PGE holds public hearings on every Tuesday from 11:30 am to
12:30 pm at the office of Protector of Emigrants, Jaisalmer House, New Delhi
where an aggrieved person can meet the PGE for redressal of his grievance
without any prior appointment. The PGE also conducts similar public hearings on
Fridays by rotation at other POE offices located outside Delhi.
What is the nature of complaints made by Indian workers going abroad for
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):
1.The employment contract unilaterally changed to the disadvantage of the
workers by the foreign employers.
2.The worker put to a job different from the one for which he was recruited in
3.The worker not given any employment at all by the employer or made to look for
a job himself and forced to pay a commission out of his salary
4.Registered recruiting agent charging a higher service charge than prescribed
5.Employers not paying wages on time Employer terminating the employment
6.Unsatisfactory living and working conditions or harassment Delay in payment of
death or disability compensation etc.
What measures have been taken by the Government to protect the interests of
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 are the things to ensure before one leaves India for employment
Before you leave India to take up a job in a foreign country, you should
•You have a valid passport (for next 6 months) and employment visa.
•You have a copy of the agreement signed by you and your foreign employer or his
•You have an insurance policy from an insurance company under the Pravasi
Bharatiya Bima Yojana.
•You have a savings bank account to enable you to send remittances from abroad.
What are the points to keep in mind once one reaches the foreign country
Once you reach the destination country where you have been given a job, you
should always remember that:
•You should not lose your passport at any cost
•You should not sign any other agreement or any blank piece of paper.
•You should not strike work or resort to agitations, because it is illegal and
you can be sent back to India.
•You should always keep the address and telephone number of the Indian embassy
•You should report all grievances to the Indian embassy.
( Courtesy: The Ministry of Overseas Indian affairs