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I was issued a passport in 1999 and I went to Dubai in 2003 and returned in 2008 since then I have been in India and the second issue of my passport was done in Dubai.

My question is does my status remain emigration check not required or does it become emigration check required, as I have not returned to Dubai?

Now my passport has been damaged and I need to apply for a fresh one, my question is will I be eligible for ECNR in my fresh application?

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Your status doesn't change depending on if you have returned or not; it is decided based on your merits (listed on this chart) when you apply for your passport.

Further, ECR is only checked if you are traveling for permanent work to certain Middle Eastern and Asian countries - it doesn't have any bearing if you are traveling for any other purpose:

As per the Emigration Act, 1983, Emigration Check Required (ECR) categories of Indian passport holders, require to obtain "Emigration Clearance" from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for going to following 18 countries.

United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand, Iraq (emigration banned).

However , the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (Emigration Policy Division) have allowed ECR passport holders traveling abroad for purposes others than employment to leave the country on production of valid passport, valid visa and return ticket at the immigration counters at international airports in India w.e.f. 1st October 2007.

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