How does eMigrate affect seafarers directly recruited by companies abroad?

Questions are still circulating about the E-migrate system in place regarding people who used to be employed directly by companies who had no offices in India.

Currently, the eMigrate system allows you to cross the immigration counters at airport/seaports only if the company dispatching you abroad is registered via a Recruitment and Placement Service (RPS) number with the Indian maritime regulator (D.G. Shipping) and the details of your employment are updated in the eMigrate system before the date of departure.

This data is then transmitted to the Bureau of Immigration. So when you reach the immigration counter and your passport is swiped, your employment data will appear before the official and he will be able to let you pass through.

Under this system, only seafarers employed by one of the three means mentioned below will be allowed to pass through:

  • Seafarers recruited by Indian ship owners
  • Seafarers recruited by RPS manning companies
  • Senior officers (Captains and Chief Engineers) directly recruited by foreign ship owners

As you may have noticed, only Captains and Chief Engineers can be directly recruited by foreign ship owners as only they are authorised to enter the details in the eMigrate software by themselves upon receiving employment via foreign ship owners.

For now, seafarers recruited by unregistered manning agents and seafarers (other than Captains and Chief Engineers) directly recruited by foreign ship owners shall be prevented from passing through the immigration counters.

In a way, this works well to cut down on the illegal agents taking large sums of money from hapless seafarers and abandoning them abroad on dead ships. A start has been made and though there are circumstances where foreign shipowners may not be able to directly recruit Indian junior officers, they have the option of using a registered manning agency.

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