According to e-Migrate emigration clearance data migration to Gulf for jobs drops 62% over 5 years
- Emigration clearances granted to Indians headed to the Gulf for employment have dropped by 21%,
- During 2018, the largest outflow was to UAE, 35% of the total workers granted emigration clearances. This was followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
- In 2017, Saudi Arabia was the most attractive destination among Gulf countries for Indian workers.
- Qatar is the only country in the Gulf region where the number of workers shows an increase in 2018 as compared to the previous year. This could be because of increased labour requirement as the country prepares to host the football World Cup 2022.
- Also Qatar has over the past few years introduced many worker protection reforms, it needs to ensure ethical recruitment and reimbursement of payment through official means, guided by a regulatory body.
Possible Reason for drop in migration:
- Impact of Nitaqat Scheme – Under this scheme Saudi labour ministry had banned foreigners from working in Saudi Arabia’s shopping malls.
- Economic slowdown – Gulf countries are passing through a period of economic slowdown primarily because of the slump in oil prices.
- Gulf countries are aiming at filling up maximum posts both in public and private sector with their own nationals.
- Moreover, a large number of Indian nationals holding emigration check required (ECR) passports reportedly travel to the Gulf countries on tourist visa and get their visas converted to employment visa, thereby bypassing the e-Migrate system and are not reflected in the e-Migrate emigration clearance data.