Photo used for illustrative purpose.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE Digital Government has identified three ways to check the validity and type of passport, visa requirements, travel advisories, as well as the local laws as a preliminary step before you make your travel plans.
It has also advised the public to check if there is a travel ban before travelling to avoid trouble at airports.
Among the ways to check a person’s status is the Dubai Police that provide an online free-of-charge service, which enables residents in the UAE to check if they have a travel ban due to financial cases in the emirate of Dubai only. To use the service you need to enter your Emirates ID card number.
To avail the service visit the Dubai Police website or download the Dubai Police app available on iTunes and Google Play. For further enquiries, call Dubai Police on 901.
Also, the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi has an online service called ‘Estafser,’ which enables the residents of Abu Dhabi to check whether they are requested by the Public Prosecution for any claims against them. To use the service, requester must enter his/her unified number.
Before planning your travel, it is also advisable to check and/or solve any issues that might stop you at the airport immigration counters. If necessary, you may seek the assistance of a lawyer, or contact the nearest immigration/police office in your area for an advice.
It is also advised to check passport validity and that it is machine-readable or is an ePassport as some countries call it. Many countries do not accept travellers that do not have a machine-readable passport or ePassport.
The UAE nationals can check the validity of their passports through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the respective emirate.
Meanwhile, expatriate residents may contact their embassies and consulates in the UAE for passport’s validity, issuance and renewal.
Travellers can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, or through call centre on (80044444) for any enquiries related to travelling abroad.
Citizens and residents wishing to travel abroad are advised to contact the foreign mission of the destination country in the UAE to check about visa regulations, application procedures and related information.
Many countries have outsourced the task of accepting visa applications to a private company called VFS Global.
UAE citizens can travel to several countries either visa-free or by getting a visa on arrival.
Emiratis can check whether they are exempt from applying for visa or they need a visa prior to their travel or they can get it upon arrival.