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21 Sep 2020, Edition - 1896, Monday

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Coimbatore

Verifying documents important for those going abroad for jobs

Umaima Shafiq

Many people travel abroad for jobs in skilled and unskilled sectors from Coimbatore. What are the documents they should carry and how should they safeguard themselves from illegal manpower agents?

M Loganathan, a Coimbatore-based civil/criminal lawyer tells The Covai Post, “They must definitely have updated passports, then a letter stating reason for their travel whether it is tourism, jobs, studying abroad and others. Those going for jobs must have copies of their appointment letters and contract letters with names, job details and term of employment.”

Semi skilled workers should have employment agreement attested by the Indian embassy of the country to which he or she is travelling. There are 17 countries which require emigration check (ECR). They are Afganistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen. The ECR endorsements should be stamped on their passports by their Regional Passport officers.

Other details of emigration policies of the Indian government can be availed at https://www.mea.gov.in/emigration-clearance-system.htm.

Loganathan rues that many workers get trapped by greedy manpower agents. “Usually some labourers are so eager to go abroad they will accept any job instead of those related to their skill. Naturally, greedy agents will do anything to send such workers mostly in groups on six or 12 month contracts often with false assurances. Once there, the labourers are stranded without money, salary arrears and an iron-clad contract mostly in cramped accommodation. So it is always important to verify the credibility of the agent, the contract letter, the company and all related documents with a lawyer before paying money. Some manpower agencies will send some labourers abroad, collect commissions, close shutters and set up similar agencies in another city under a different name. Then it becomes difficult to trace or sue them.”

Divya Chandran, a Coimbatore-based lawyer tells The Covai Post, “When workers get stranded abroad for unverified documents and salary arrears, only high courts will deal with it, subordinate courts are not empowered to do so. The high courts will question the Regional Passport Office and the embassies abroad to rescue such workers. So it is always better to verify documents before travelling abroad for jobs.”

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