A number of whatsapp forwards have been in circulation regarding the Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) no. 7 of 2017 issued by D.G. Shipping about the e-migrate system for Indian seafarers currently in use on a trial basis and which will be in full implementation effective from 01 December 2017. Unfortunately some of them have some errors with regards to verifying the emmigration clearance status. They have been compiled and corrected to provide a clearer picture.
1. What is E-Migrate for Indian Seafarers?
There are 380 RPS ( Recruitment and Placement Service) Agencies as approved by D.G. Shipping. Seafarers can be employed only through them. These companies have access to the D.G. Shipping System with a unique userid. RPSL companies have to update Form 1 online on the D.G. Shipping System for Seafarers one day before the seafarer joins the ship. This gets transmitted to all Indian Ports (Seaport and Airport) Immigration desk. The seafarers get an alert on their email from D.G. Shipping.
When the seafarer’s passport is scanned into the e-migrate system by Immigration, upon matching with the proper form, it will be approved. If there is no approval , the seafarer cannot join.
2. How can the seafarer know that his company has done the e-migrate clearance for him?
The seafarer must visit the website https://emigrate.gov.in/ext
In the Emigrant tab, if he clicks on the “ verify EC Status “, he will be asked to enter his passport number followed by a captcha text. He will be able to see the approval.
If in any doubt, please ask your RPSL company.
Seafarers don’t need to carry any approval paper from the e-migrate system.
It is a simple online process.
3. Can Indian Seafarers join through non RPSL agents?
No. Because the E-Migrate system at the airport/seaport will not allow them to pass through Immigration.
4. What should seafarers do with regards to their data in DG Shipping?
Seafarers must check their Master Checker data by visiting http://dgshipping.gov.in and check the e-governance section. Update your Passport number and e-mail id. It is in this email id that Seafarers get alert when RPSL Agencies update Form 1 of DG Shipping.
A seafarer joining through a RPSL company can see evidence of his clearance by the RPSL company in e-migrate vide following means:
- E-Migrate program under verify EC status.
- Sending a SMS EMIG PP Passport No. to 9250000998 and you will get an instant verification. ( Pls enter your passport number in place of ‘Passport No.’ in the sms)
- Evidence of form 1 as given by RPSL company to Seafarer.
There have been many ups and downs with this system during the trial period and one hopes the system will be made more robust in the coming days. For now, one hopes this will allow the government to control the unabated flow of seafarers to unsafe working ships and preventing their abandonment by unscrupulous agents and non-RPSL certified companies.