Updated: Friday November 20, 2009/AlJumaa Thoul Hijjah 03, 1430/Sukravara Karthika 29, 1931, at 10:15:28 PM
The Emigration Ordinance, 1979
(XVI I of 1979)
23rd March, 1979
An Ordinance to repeal and with certain modifications, re-enact the Emigration Act, 1922
(2) It extends
to the whole of
(3) It shall come into force at once.
2. Definitions. (1) In this Ordinance unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:---
(a) ‘Bureau’ means the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment;
(b) ‘Conveyance’ means any vehicle, aircraft or ship used for the transportation of emigrants;
(c) ‘Corporation’ means the Overseas Employment Corporation Limited;
and ‘departure’ means the departure out of
(e) ‘dependent’, in relation to an emigrant, means the spouse, sons not above the age of twenty-one years, and unmarried sisters and daughters of the emigrant, and includes aged or incapacitated parents, incapacitated sons above the age of twenty-one years and widowed and divorced sisters and daughters of the emigrant wholly dependent upon and residing with the emigrant and the sons not above the age of twenty-one years, and dependent unmarried daughters, of such widowed or divorced sisters or daughters;
(f) ‘Director-General’ means the Director-General, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, appointed under section 3, and includes any person for the time being discharging the functions of Director-General;
(g) ‘emigrant’ means any person who emigrates or has emigrated or who has been registered as an emigrant under this Ordinance and includes any dependent of an emigrant;
(h) ‘emigrant’ and ‘emigration’ means the departure by sea, air or land;
(i) ‘foreign service agreement’ means an agreement between an emigrant and his prospective employer abroad or his authorised Overseas Employment Promoter in Pakistan containing terms and conditions of his employment and duly registered with the prescribed authority;
(j) ‘Overseas Employment Promoter’ means a person licensed as such under section 12;
(k) ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by rules;
(l) ‘Protector of Emigrants’ means a Protector of Emigrant appointed under section 5;
(m) ‘rules’ means rules made under this Ordinance.
(2) In case of any doubt or dispute arising otherwise than in the course of any legal proceedings as to whether any person is an emigrant within the meaning of this Ordinance, the question shall be determined by the Federal Government, and such determination shall be final.
3. Director-General, Burden of
Emigration and Overseas Employment. (1) The Federal Government may appoint
a person to be the Director-General, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas
Employment, for the whole of
(2) The Director-General and every officer appointed under sub-section (1) shall be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).
4. Function of Director-General. Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance and the overall supervision and control of the Federal Government, the Director-General shall take such measures as may be necessary,---
(a) to promote
emigration of citizens of
(b) to control and regulate such emigration;
(c) to look after the interest and welfare of emigrants ; and to discharge and perform such other duties and functions as may be assigned to him by the Federal Government.
4-A. Functions of corporation.
Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance and the overall supervision and
control of the Federal Government the corporation shall take such measures as
may be necessary to promote emigration of citizens of
(2) Every Protector of Emigrants shall be a public servant within the meaning of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).
7. Appointment of Labour Attaches.
The Federal Government may, for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of
emigrants and promoting Overseas Employment, appoint a person to be a Labour
Attaches in a place outside
8. Regulation of emigration.
(1) Emigration from
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules and any other law for the time being in force, the emigration of a citizen of Pakistan shall be lawful if he is in possession of a letter of appointment of a work permit from a foreign employer or an employment visa or an emigration visa from a foreign Government, or he has been selected for emigration by the foreign employer through the Director-General or by an Overseas Employment Promoter or under an agreement or treaty between the Government of Pakistan and a foreign Government.
(3) If the Federal Government, having regard to the occupation, profession, provocation or qualifications of any person or class of persons, is satisfied that emigration of such person or class of persons is not in the public interest, it may, by rules, regulate emigration of such person or class of persons; and the departure of such person or class of persons otherwise than in accordance with such rules shall not be lawful.
(4) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, prohibit, from a date and for reasons to be specified in the notification, all persons or any specified class of persons from emigrating to all or any specified country.
9. Prohibition of advertisement, etc. No person other than the Corporation shall recruit a citizen of Pakistan or issue an advertisement or publish any material or hold any interview or examination for such recruitment for the purpose of emigration, except with the prior permission of the Director-General or the Protector of Emigrants of the area, in accordance with such conditions, if any, as may be prescribed.
10. Advisory Committee. The Federal Government may, for the purpose of advising the Government, constitute an Advisory Committee, in such manner as it may think fit, and may prescribe the procedure to be followed and the functions to be performed by such Committee.
11. Power to search and detain vessels, etc. The Director-General, a. Protector of Emigrants or any officer authorised by the Federal Government may, for the purpose of preventing the commission of any offence under this Ordinance, exercise all the powers conferred on the officers of customs by the Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969), with regard to the searching and detention of vessels or otherwise for the prevention of smuggling on board thereof and for this purpose, he shall have the authority to enter any port or point of entry or departure or inspect any conveyance carrying or bringing or believed to be carrying or bringing any emigrant.
12. Grant of Overseas Employment Promoter’s Licence. (1) Whoever desires to engage, or to assist or to recruit any person to emigrate shall apply for a licence to the Federal Government and shall with his application furnish such information and documents, pay such security and fee, and at such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) On receiving an application under sub-section (1), the Federal Government may, after such inquiry as it may deem necessary, grant the licence applied for on such terms and conditions, if any, and on payment of such fee and on furnishing such security, as may be prescribed, or withhold such licence, and the decision of the Federal Government shall be final.
(3) If at any time during the period for which a licence is valid the Federal Government is satisfied, after making such inquiry as it may deem necessary that the licensee has been guilty of misconduct, or that his conduct and performance as licensee has been otherwise unsatisfactory, or that he has committed a breach of any of the provisions of this Ordinance or the rules prescribed code of conduct, the Federal Government may, by order in writing, cancel the licence or suspend it for a specified period and may also pass orders in regard to the forfeiture of the security furnished under subsection (2) in whole or in part and the decision of the Federal Government shall be final.
(3-A) Before an order is passed under sub-section (3), the licensee shall be afforded an opportunity of being heard.
(4) On the expiry of the period or which the licence is granted, or on being preformed by the licensee that he does not, purpose, to continue to act as an Overseas Employment Promoter, and on being satisfied that no ground exists counterfeiting the security in whole or in part the Federal Government may return of the security or any part thereof to the person by whom it furnished or to his authorised representative.
13. Powers to withdraw licences. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance, if at any time, it appears to the Federal Government that, in the public interest, it is necessary to discontinue the practice of granting licences to Overseas Employment Promoters, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, withdraw all such licences and entrust the functions concerning emigration for employment abroad to the Corporation or any other institution established or controlled by Government, in such manner as it may deem fit.
14. Delegation of Power to Director-General to receive and dispose of application. (1) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette delegate its power under Section 12 to the Director-General or any other officer:---
Provided that an appeal shall lie to the Federal Government taken after the appellant has been afforded an opportunity of being heard, from an order passed by the Director-General or any other officer in exercise of the power delegated to him, and the decision of the Federal Government shall, subject to sub-section (2), be final.
(2) The Federal Government may review its decision under sub-section (1) and the decision of the Federal Government in review shall be final:---
Provided that, before a decision is taken in review, the licensee to whom the decision relates shall be afforded an opportunity of being heard.
(3) The Director-General shall maintain, in such form as may be prescribed a register of the names of all persons to whom licences have been granted under sub-section (2) of section 12.
15. Appearance of engaged persons before and registration of name of Protector of Emigrants. Before any person emigrates, he shall appear in person alongwith the Overseas Employment Protector by whom has been engaged or assisted or required for employment abroad of his duly authorised representative, before the Protector of Emigrants and furnish to his such information as may be prescribed.
16. Power to make rules. (1) The Federal Government may by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out purposes of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foreigner power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:---
(a) the powers and duties of the several officers appointed by the Federal Government under this Ordinance.
(b) the licensing, supervision and control of Overseas Employment Promoters and the prohibition of unlicensed persons from being engaged in causing or assisting or recruiting persons to emigrate and in the conveyance and accommodation of emigrant;
(c) the establishment, supervision and regulation of any places of accommodation provided for emigrants and for their medical care while resident there;
(d) the forms to be maintained and the returns to be submitted by the Overseas Employment Promoters and the Corporation;
(e) the information to be furnished by Overseas Employment Promoters to emigrants and the language in which such information is to be furnished;
(f) the production and examination of emigrants before the Protector of Emigrants or such other authorities as may be appointed in this behalf;
(g) the age below which person of either sex may not emigrate except as dependents;
(h) the reception and the despatch to their homes of returning emigrants;
(i) the fees, if any, payable by Overseas Employment Promoters to the Protectors of Emigrants for each emigrant departing from
(j) execution of a bond by an emigrant, or a person proceeding abroad for education, studies or training or any other purpose, in which he undertakes to return to Pakistan after a specified period;
(k) setting up training centers and orientation and briefing centers to guide and advise intending emigrants and their dependents proceeding abroad;
(I) the recall and repatriation in the public interest of such emigrants as may be prescribed;
(m) the time within an appearance of the proviso to subsection (1) of section 14 may be presented;
(n) creation of welfare fund and measures for the welfare of emigrants and their dependents and establishment of machinery at home and abroad for the implementation of such rules;
(o) the disposal of complaints against Overseas Employment Promoters;
(p) the formation of an Overseas Employment Promoters Association and code of conduct to be observed by Overseas Employment Promoters;
(q) the service charges to be paid to Overseas Employment Promoters and the Corporation by the emigrants; and
(r) the depositing of fee and securities by Overseas Employment Promoters.
17. Unlawful emigration, etc. (1) Whoever, except in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules, emigrates or departs or attempts to emigrate or depart shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
(2) Whoever, except in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance or of the rules:---
(a) makes, or attempts to make, any agreement with any person purporting to bind that person, or any other person, to emigrate or depart; or
(b) causes or assists, or attempts to cause or assist, any person to emigrate or depart or to attempt to emigrate or depart or to leave any place for the purpose of emigration or departing; or
(c) causes any person engaged, assisted or recruited by him, after grant of the licence referred to in section 12, to depart without appearing before the Protector of Emigrants as required by section 15 ; shall be punishable:---
(i) for a first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both; and
(ii) for a second or subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.
(3) When, in the course of any proceeding in connection with emigration in which an Overseas Employment Promoter is concerned, a breach of the provisions of this Ordinance or of the rules is committed, such person shall be liable to the punishment provided by sub-section (2), unless he proves that he was responsible for and could not have prevented the commission of the breach.
(4) Whoever, in contravention of the provisions of section 9, recruits a citizen of
18. Fraudulently inducing to emigrate etc. Whoever :- (a) forges any document required for or relating to the emigration any person, or A has in his possession or under his controlled any instrument or article which may be used for the purpose of such forgery, or
(b) by means of intoxication, coercion, fraud or willful misrepresentation, causes or induces, or attempts to cause or induce any person to emigrate, or enter into any agreement to emigrate, or leave any place with a view to emigrating, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years, or with fine, or with both.
19. False representation of Government authority. Whoever falsely represents that any emigrant is required by the Government or is to be engaged on behalf of the Government, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
20. Violation of terms of agreement with foreign employer by emigrant. Whoever violates the terms of the agreement with his foreign employer by abandoning his employment or otherwise shell after his repatriation to
21. Certain amount recoverable as arrears of land revenue. The amount of any expenditure incurred by the Federal Government for the partition to Pakistan of a person who is convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (1) of section 17 or section 20 and the amount payable by any person in pursuance of an agreement or bond or undertaking executed in pursuance of this Ordinance or the rules, shall be recoverable from such person as arrears of land revenue.
22. Receiving, money etc. for providing foreign employment. Whoever for providing or securing or on the pretext of providing or securing, to or for any person employment in any country beyond the limits of
(a) being on Overseas Employment Promoter, charges any fee in addition to prescribed amount, or
(b) not being such a Promoter demands or receives, or attempts to receive for himself or for any other person any money or other valuable thing, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years or with fine, or with both.
23. Penalty for other offence. Whoever contravenes, or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance or the rules shall, if no other penalty is provided by this Ordinance for such contravention or failure be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898), an offence punishable under this Ordinance shall be tried exclusively by a
(4) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898) so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, shall apply to the proceedings of a Special Court, and such Court shall be deemed to be a Court of a Session for the purpose of the said Code and the provisions Chapter XXII-A of the Code, so far as applicable and with the necessary modifications, shall apply to the trial of cases by a Special Court under this Ordinance and a person conducting prosecution before Special Court shall be deemed to be a Public Prosecutor.
(5) For purposes of sub-section (4), the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898), shall have effect as if an offence punishable under this Ordinance where one of the offences referred to in sub-section (1) of section 337 of the Code.
(6) A Special Court shall take cognizance of, and have jurisdiction to try, an offence punishable under this Ordinance only upon a complaint in writing which is accompanied by the previous sanction of the Federal Government:---
Provided that, in a case in which the complaint is not accompanied by such sanction the Special Court shall, immediately on its receipt, refer the latter to the Federal Government; and, if the required sanction is neither received nor refused within sixty days of the receipt of the reference by the Federal Government, such sanction shall be deemed to have been duly accorded.
25. Indemnity. No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Ordinance or any rule.
26. Validation. Any power of function of the Federal Government, the Director-General or a Protector of Emigrants under the Emigration Act, 1922 (VII of 1922), or the rules made thereunder exercised or performed, before the commencement of this Ordinance, by any officer subordinate to the Federal Government shall be deemed to have been validly exercised or performed.
27. Saving. Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to apply to the departure of a person:---
(i) who is not a citizen of
(ii) who is in the service of
(iii) who is proceeding under a foreign scholarship or training scheme approved by the Federal Government;
(iv) who is engaged as crew on board a foreign going vessel in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (XXI of 1923);
(v) who is engaged as crew on board a foreign going aircraft in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Ordinance 1960 (XXXII of 1960), and the rules made thereunder;
(vi) who is proceeding abroad for Ha] or Ziarat and is certified by the Federal Government or an officer authorised by it in this behalf to be so proceeding;
(vii) who is a dependent of a citizen of
(viii)who is already settled or employed in a foreign country and is on a temporary visit to