Medium Priority

What is the immigration news? New exit rules for Indian nationals intending to work abroad in any of 18 designated countries have been suspended until further notice.

The rules, originally issued Nov. 14 by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, were scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 and would require that Indian citizens holding work permits in the designated countries preregister on the eMigrate portal at least 24 hours before traveling. After receiving feedback about Indian expatriates having difficulty registering on the eMigrate website, the ministry announced Nov. 28 that it was suspending the new rules until further notice.

  • Implementation time frame: 
  • Affected population: Indian citizens holding employment visas in any of the 18 designated countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Business impact: While the rules are suspended, Indian nationals working in the 18 countries do not need to preregister before traveling or returning to the host country.
  • Next steps: It is unclear when or whether the ministry will implement the rules.Meanwhile, the ministry has indicated that affected Indian nationals may voluntarily register on the eMigrate portal.

Background: The new exit requirements were intended to protect Indian expatriates from exploitation and trafficking and to ensure that their addresses and contact details were up to date in case of emergency while working in the host country. The rules would have required that affected Indian citizens preregister on the eMigrate portal at least 24 hours before traveling to the host country. Those who failed to preregister would be barred from departing at the airport.

BAL Analysis: Currently, Indian citizens working in the 18 countries will not be required to register with eMigrate, but may wish to do so on a voluntary basis.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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