While visiting a friend today, he had remarked about the difficulty of obtaining a renewal of his licence as a recruiter for overseas positions. That led to do some research on the subject of overseas manpower consultants and their registration process and licensing.
Overseas manpower recruitment agents have to obtain license from the office of the Protector of Emigrants. Apparently there are offices of the PoE’s in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Trivandrum, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Rae Bareilly. In Mumbai the office is based out of Santacruz.
These Protector of Emigrants are officers under the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Act regulating the registration and licensing of overseas recruitment agents is the Emigration Act, 1983. Chapter III of the Act covers registration of recruitment agents whereas Chapter IV covers permits for overseas recruitment by employers i.e. where the employers themselves recruit for overseas positions without going through an Agent.
Section 10 of the Act – No person can function as a recruitment agent without a valid certificate;
Section 11- application for registration. The applicant is required to deposit a bank guarantee of Rs.20 lakhs to take care of the eventuality when the employee recruited by the agent is required to be repatriated back to India for any reason.
Section 12 – Terms and conditions of Registration – certificate valid for 5 years
Section 13 – Renewal of Registration
Section 14 – Cancellation/ Suspension of Registration – there are 7 reasons on which a certificate can be cancelled.
Section 16 – Recruitment by employers to be through recruiting agent or under permit
Section 17 – Procedure for obtaining permits
Section 18 – Period of validity of permit – valid for one year at a time
Section 20 – Cancellation or Suspension of Permits – same reasons as section 14 applies.
The Emigration Rules, 1983 gives the procedural effect to the provisions of the Act regarding registration of Agents/ employers.
From an observation of the website of the MOIA, it seems that the application for registration of licences/ permits are to be made on the basis of submission of physical documents. There is no procedure yet for making an online application, which is the dire need of the hour in respect of each and every government service for obvious reasons.