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Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 31 of 1983

  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter VIII
  • Act nº 31 of 1983



[Act No. 31 of 1983]

[10th September, 1983]


An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to emigration of citizens of India.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-Fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent, application and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Emigration Act, 1983.

(2) It extends to the whole of India and applies also to citizens of India outside India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the commencement of that provision.

1. Came into force on 30-12-1983, vide S.O. 940(E), dated 30th December, 1983.

Section 2. Definitions

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "certificate" means a certificate of registration issued under section 11;

(b) "conveyance" includes a vessel, vehicle, country-craft and an aircraft;

(c) "dependent" means any person who is related to an emigrant and is dependent on that emigrant;

(d) "emigrant" means any citizen of India who intends to emigrate, or emigrates, or has emigrated but does not include--

(i) a dependent of an emigrant, whether such dependent accompanies that emigrant, or departs subsequently for the purpose of joining that emigrant in the country to which that emigrant has lawfully emigrated;

(ii) any person who has resided outside India at any time after attaining the age of eighteen years, for not less than three years or the spouse or child of such person;

(e) "emigrant conveyance" means any conveyance specially chartered for conveyance of emigrants or for conveying emigrants exceeding such number as may be prescribed:

Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, declare that any conveyance conveying emigrants to such place as may be specified in the notification shall not be deemed to be an emigrant conveyance;

(f) "emigrate" and "emigration" mean the departure out of India of any person with a view to taking up any employment (whether or not under an agreement or other arrangements to take up such employment and whether with or without the assistance of a recruiting agent or employer) in any country or place outside India;

(g) "employer" means any person providing or offering to provide, employment in any country or place outside India;

(h) "employment" means any service, occupation or engagement (not being service, occupation or engagement under the Central Government or a State Government), in any kind of work within the meaning of clause (o), for wages or for reward, and all its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

(i) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(j) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(k) "Protector of Emigrants" means a Protector of Emigrants appointed under section 3 and includes a person authorised under section 5;

(l) "recruiting agent" means a person engaged in India in the business of recruitment for an employer and representing such employer with respect to any matter in relation to such recruitment including dealings with persons so recruited or desiring to be so recruited;

(m) "recruitment" includes the issuing of any advertisement for the purpose of recruitment, the offering by advertisement to secure or assist in securing any employment in any country or place outside India and the entering into any correspondence, negotiation, agreement or arrangement with any individual for or in relation to the employment of such individual in any country or place outside India;

(n) "registering authority" means the officer appointed under section 9 to be the registering authority for the purposes of this Act;

(o) "work" means--

(i) any unskilled work, including any form of industrial or agricultural labour;

(ii) any domestic service;

(iii) any service, not being a service in a managerial capacity, in any hotel, restaurant, tea-house or other place of public resort;

(iv) work as a driver of a truck or other vehicle, mechanic, technician or skilled labourer or artisan;

(v) work as an office assistant or accountant or typist or stenographer or salesman, or nurse or operator of any machine;

(vi) work in connection with, or for the purposes of, any cinema, exhibition or entertainment;

(vii) any such work of a professional or of any other nature as the Central Government may, having regard to the need for the protection of citizens of India who may be employed in such work outside India and other relevant circumstances, specify by notification:

Provided that the Central Government may, if satisfied that it is necessary so to do having regard to the conditions of service applicable with respect to employment in any of the aforementioned categories of work or any sub-category thereof, whether generally or in relation to any particular country or place and other relevant circumstances, declare by notification that such category of work or sub-category of work shall not be deemed to be work within the meaning of this definition.

(2) Any reference in this Act to any law which is not in force in any area shall, in relation to that area, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that area.

Chapter II

Section 3. Protectors of Emigrants

(1) The Central Government may, by notification, appoint a Protector General of Emigrants and as many Protectors of Emigrants, as it deems fit, for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The Central Government may, by general or special order, define the area to which the authority of a Protector of Emigrants so appointed shall extend and, where two or more Protectors of Emigrants are appointed for the same area, also provide, by such order, for the distribution and allocation of the work to be performed under this Act in relation to such area.

(3) The Protectors of Emigrants shall perform the functions assigned to them by or under this Act under the general superintendence and control of the Protector General of Emigrants.

(4) The Protector General of Emigrants may, in addition to the special functions assigned to him by or under this Act, perform all or any of the functions assigned to any Protector of Emigrants.

Section 4. General duties of Protectors of Emigrants

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every Protector of Emigrants shall, in addition to the special duties assigned to him by or under this Act--

(a) protect and aid with his advice all intending emigrants and emigrants;

(b) cause, so far as he can, all the provisions of this Act and of the rules made thereunder to be complied with;

(c) inspect, to such extent and in such manner as may be prescribed--

(i) any emigrant conveyance, or

(ii) any other conveyance if he has reason to believe that any intending emigrants or emigrants are proceedings from, or returning to, India to or from a place outside India by such other conveyance;

(d) inquire into the treatment received by emigrants during their voyage or journey to, and during the period of their residence in the country to which they emigrated and also during the return voyage or journey to India and report thereon to the Protector General of Emigrants or such other authority as may be prescribed;

(e) aid and advise, so far as he reasonably can, emigrants who have returned to India.

Section 5. Power to authorise persons to exercise functions of a Protector

The Central Government may, if satisfied that it is necessary so to do in the interest of emigrants or intending emigrants, authorise any person to perform all or any of the functions of a Protector of Emigrants under this Act.

Section 6. Emigration check-posts

(1) Where the Central Government considers that, with a view to preventing or checking the contravention of the provisions of this Act, it is necessary so to do, it may, by notification, set up such number of emigration check-posts at such places as may be specified.

(2) The Central Government may, by general or special order made in this behalf, appoint an officer of the Central Government or of a State Government to be an officer in charge of an emigration check-post set up under subsection (1).

(3) An officer in charge of an emigration check-post shall be subject to the general control and supervision of the Protector of Emigrants within the local limits of whose jurisdiction that emigration check-post is situated.

Section 7. Other emigration officers and staff

The Central Government may appoint such other officers and employees (hereinafter referred to as the emigration officers and emigration employees), as it may think fit, to assist the Protector General of Emigrants and the Protector of Emigrants in the performance of their duties under this Act.

Section 8. Emigration officers to be public servants

The Protector General of Emigrants, Protectors of Emigrants, the officers in charge of emigration check-posts, emigration officers and emigration employees appointed under this Act shall be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Chapter III

Section 9. Registering authority

The Central Government may, by notification, appoint the Protector General of Emigrants or any other officer of that Government of a rank higher than that of a Protector of Emigrants to be the registering authority for the purposes of this Act.

Section 10. No person to function as recruiting agent without a valid certificate

Save as otherwise provided in this Act, no recruiting agent shall, after the commencement of this Act, commence or carry on the business of recruitment except under and in accordance with a certificate issued in that behalf by the registering authority:

Provided that a person carrying on the business of recruiting agent immediately before the commencement of this Act may continue to carry on such business without such a certificate for a period of one month from such commencement and if he has made an application for such certificate under this Act within the said period of one month and such application is in the prescribed form and contains the prescribed particulars, till the disposal of such application by the registering authority.

Section 11. Application for registration

(1) An application for registration shall be made to the registering authority in such form and shall contain such particulars as to the applicant's financial soundness, trustworthiness, premises at which he intends to carry on his business, facilities at his disposal for recruitment, his antecedents (including information as to whether any certificate had been issued to him under this Chapter earlier and if so, whether such certificate had been cancelled) and previous experience, if any, of recruitment and other relevant matters as may be prescribed and shall be accompanied by a receipt evidencing the payment of the prescribed fee and an affidavit giving his current financial standing and an undertaking in the form prescribed to the effect that in the event of any information furnished in or along with the application for registration being found to be false or incorrect in any respect, the certificate shall be liable to be cancelled at any time in accordance with the procedure prescribed:

Provided that no application shall be entertained under this sub-section from a person disqualified under sub-section (6) of section 14 till the expiry of the period of such disqualification.

(2) On receipt of such application, the registering authority shall,--

(a) if the application is not in the prescribed form or does not contain any of the prescribed particulars, return the application to the applicant;

(b) if the application is in the prescribed form and contains the prescribed particulars, inform the applicant that he is eligible for the grant of the certificate applied for and, after giving the applicant an opportunity to be heard, determine, under sub-section (3), the amount of the security which the applicant shall furnish.

(3) The registering authority shall, for securing the due performance of the terms and conditions of the certificate proposed to be issued by it under subsection (2) to an applicant and for securing compliance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder and for meeting expenses which may have to be incurred in the event of the repatriation to India of any of the emigrants who may be recruited by the applicant, determine, in accordance with the rules made in this behalf, the amount of security (not being in any case less than one lakh of rupees) which shall be furnished by the applicant.

(4) If an applicant furnishes in the prescribed manner the amount of security determined under sub-section (3) within a period of one month from the date on which the registering authority requires him to furnish such security, he shall be issued the certificate applied for by him together with an endorsement thereon to the effect that the security required has been furnished by him.

(5) If an applicant fails to furnish the security required to be furnished by him within the period specified in sub-section (4) his application shall be deemed to have been rejected by the registering authority on the date of expiry of that period.