NEW DELHI - Reverse migration of workers from Gulf countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has ended and an increase of nearly 50 percent in fresh migration to the GCC has been recorded in the first seven months of this year compared to the whole of 2021, according to statistics presented to India’s Parliament.
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, in response to queries on migration from members told the Lok Sabha, the lower House of Parliament, that from January to the end of July 2022, a total of 189,206 emigration clearances were issued for the Gulf. This compared with 132,763 emigration clearances for all of the previous year.
"Economic recovery in the Gulf region and their increasing openness to travel from India has now seen a return by many Indian workers," the Minister said. Because of the pandemic, 2020 was the worst year for migration to the Gulf. Only 94,145 emigration clearances were issued during that year. It worked out to about half the number of clearances so far this year.
Emigration clearance is required from the Indian government for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers as well as certain professionals such as nurses, notified from time to time, for taking up employment in 18 countries including the GCC states. Such clearance is not required for Indians who are educated above class 10 unless their profession is notified by the Protector of Emigrants.
Indians who have already worked abroad for three years, income taxpayers and some other categories of Indians also do not need emigration clearance prior to travel.