Residents are advised to carry their identification to avoid delays and hurdles at airports.
Thousands of residents are ready to take vacation trips or travel to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al Fitr with their families. However, since all passports no longer have visas, expats flying out of the country are advised to carry Emirates ID to avoid delays and hurdles at the airports.
“Many residents do not have a visa stamp on their passports, and the Emirates ID is the UAE's visa copy,”
says Libin Varghese, sales director at Rooh Travel and Tourism.
“Emirates ID must be carried for all the [visa] on-arrival destinations like Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Albania, and Kyrgyzstan. When a visa is not stamped in the passport, one must produce the EID at the airports,”
said Varghese adding that he was also stopped at an Indian airport last week for visa authentication, saying that staff at Indian airports need physical ID.
Last year, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICP) in the UAE stated that Emirates IDs now serve as proof of residency. The latest version of the card contains all the relevant details that used to be printed on the visa stamp, and immigration counters at various airports will be able to read the data on the ID.
Azlan Ahmed, an Indian expat, was stopped at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. When he arrived at the airline’s check-in counter in March, he was stopped for not having a visa stamped on his passport. He started as a sales executive in a landscaping firm based in Sharjah last year.
“I have a new Emirates ID with all my residency and company details. And the ID was packed in my luggage,”
“When I explained the situation, I was told to unpack my luggage and present my EID at the check-in counter. I had to join the queue from the last person, and the entire process lasted for nearly one and a half hours,”
added Ahmed, mentioning that he reached the boarding gate just before it closed.
Dubai resident Ruksana Showkath Ali also faced a similar situation while returning from her hometown at the beginning of this year. She said that the immigration officers in India were unaware of the situation, and
“I had even told them about my travel in the last couple of months,”
said Ali, owner of Koncept Kreation.
“A few officers are unaware of the EID acting as a residency visa, and passports are not stamped in the UAE. This happened to me last year, and I had to show them the news articles online to proceed with my journey,”
Agents say that carrying Emirates ID where ever you are travelling is best to help ease travel.
“New officers and the people at the check-in counters are sometimes unaware of this rule. Strict protocols are to be followed at airports worldwide, and they do their duty. Taking approvals or consulting with their higher-ups in that situation is followed. And this is why one may face delay sometimes,”
said Taha Siddique from Siddique Travels.
News Source: Khaleej Times