I'm an Indian citizen going to USA for a master's degree. I've my passport but with ECR (Emigration Check Required) stamp on it (born after 1993) because there was difference between my mother's name in my birth certificate and other certificates. I want to know the consequences if I try to travel to USA with an ECR category passport.

What will happen if I book a direct flight which does not travel through Gulf countries (which I am not allowed to go to because of ECR stamp) and what will happen if I book a flight to USA going through Gulf countries?

  • 3
    As I understand it, ECR is only relevant if you are traveling to work in a foreign country. If you go for tourism or studies it is not a problem. And you are going to the US anyway, so ECR does not apply even if you were going to work. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 0:54
  • 2
    Some language advice: "I've" can't appear at the end of a sentence like that. "I've" is typically used when "have" is functioning as a helping verb. It is almost never used when have is the main verb, especially not in the US.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 6:01
  • @phoog: Question edited.
    – 1binary0
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 12:18
  • 2
    @1binary0 you could also have changed "I've" to "I have" -- I am not quite sure what rule prevents the contraction of "I have" at the end of the sentence. There seems to be a relevant question at English Language Learners, using the example of "I am" at the end of a sentence.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 16:17
  • @1binary0 Please let us know what was your experience in this regard? Were you able to fly without any issue or extra hassle? Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


ECR is not something the US immigration is concerned with. It is only a formality for India; and it only applies if you are traveling for work and even then, to a limited set of countries which does not include the US.

Here is the official reference, from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (I have highlighted the relevant parts):

Emigration Act, 1983 provides that no citizen of India shall migrate unless he obtains emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants. Similarly, it has been recognized that certain countries (currently 17) 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 categorized as Emigration Check Required (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. However, ECR passport holders going to any ECR country for purposes other than employment do not require emigration clearance. No specific mention of ECNR is made on the passports and the ones not endorsed as ECR, automatically belong to ECNR category.

If you were to a take any GCC airline, you would be a transit passenger and ECR will not apply.

To put it bluntly; if you are able to exit the country, and you have a valid visa for the US - you should have no issues during your travel and on entry that have to do with your ECR.

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