NEW DELHI: Government had issued emigration clearance to over 10,350 workers for Iraq in the last three years which was discontinued last month following wide-spread violence in the oil-rich Gulf country.
"During the last three years, emigration clearance for Iraq has been granted to 10,356 workers," Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs Gen V K Singh told Rajya Sabha while replying to a question.
The Minister said a total of 120 Indians stranded in conflict areas out of estimated 210 citizens have been evacuated so far including 46 nurses in Tikrit.
"In addition, about 2,200 Indian nationals in relatively safe areas have also been given assistance to return to India," he said.
Singh said the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, in cooperation with the Indian embassy in Iraq, is in constant contact with the Iraqi authorities regarding evacuation of the workers willing to return to India.
Last month Government had announced that it has stopped granting of immigration clearance for travel to the strife-torn country.
According to the Emigration Act, 1983, Emigration Check Required (ECR) categories of Indian passport holders need to obtain 'Emigration Clearance' from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE) for going to 18 countries.
The countries where ECR is mandatory include Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Syria.