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In a step that will help hundreds of job seekers abroad, particularly in the Gulf region, Indian nationals who have passed 10+2 will be eligible for getting ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) status on their passports, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed announced.

ECNR will also be applicable to diploma holders of national vocational training institutes such as polytechnics and Indian Technical Institutes, he told reporters here.
Under the existing rules, only graduates are eligible for ECNR facility.

Ahamed said persons below 18 years and above 50 years will also be entitled to avail of ECNR. The minister said these decisions would come into operation "as early as possible".

He said it was also being examined whether applicants with employment visas and having insurance cover Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana could also be exempted from Emigration Check Required (ECR) category.

The minister also announced that the Human Resource Development ministry has agreed to authorise State governments to authenticate the educational certificates of applicants. Such persons had to otherwise travel long distances to Delhi for the attestation.

Once this is done, the State Government agencies will on pass it to the External Affairs Ministry for attestation.

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