Confusion abounds as Indian nationals sponsoring their relatives in India, now need to have the copy of the visit visa authenticated in the UAE before sending it to those sponsored.
Airlines have confirmed that they are now required to endorse visit visas by either stamping their photocopies or sending an ‘ok to board' message to the port of embarkation in India, without which passengers will not be allowed to board.
A representative at the Indian (formerly known as Indian Airlines) office in Dubai said: “There has been a rise in the number of people travelling to the UAE on fake visas who get deported from here. Under the new regulation, the sponsor now needs to bring the original copy of the visa with a photocopy of the same to our office. We will put a seal of authentication on the photocopy which then can be sent to the passenger in India. They will not be allowed to board unless they show the copy of the visa with an ‘ok to board' stamp from the airline they are flying.
“In case of smaller ports of embarkation, Indian can send an ‘ok to board' message from Dubai to its office in the relevant city in India, and the passenger can then board the plane with just the photocopy of the visa. But at bigger ports like Mumbai, the passenger will need to produce an authenticated photocopy of the visa.''
The same applies to Indian nationals flying into Sharjah on Air Arabia.
XPRESS spoke to many Indian nationals sponsoring their relatives in India and found a vast majority of them were completely oblivious to the new regulation.
Manoj Sharma, 32, an advertising executive said: “I have no idea what this is all about. I got visit visas issued for my parents yesterday and I have no clue if copies of their visas have to be stamped before sending them to India. I will just courier the original visas to them so as to make sure they are not put through any hassles here or in India.''
The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department stated it was not something that was imposed by UAE law.
Officials at the Indian Consulate were not aware of the regulation either.
J.P.S. Rawat, labour officer, Indian Consulate said: “It was not done before. We don't have any information regarding the regulation. Maybe it is a directive from the Government of India, but we have not received any instructions from them.''
Airlines are now required to endorse visit visas by either stamping the photocopies or sending an ‘ok to board' message to the port of embar-kation in india, without which passengers will not be able to board.