Dubai: Do you have a pending case in UAE courts? If yes, your passport may have been seized by Public Prosecution.
However, if you need to travel outside the UAE for an emergency, or need your passport for other reasons, you can request for it through the Ministry of Justice website – moj.gov.ae. The passport’s release can be approved or denied, depending on the case and the judge’s decision.
So, if you are in a situation where you need to travel immediately, here is all you need to know about the legal procedures for recovering a seized passport from UAE courts.
When is a passport seized?
“Usually, the passport is seized for specific reasons, mostly related to criminal cases. Also, in non-serious criminal cases that have not yet been ruled on, a passport may be seized from the person standing as guarantor for the person who has a travel ban on him because of the ongoing case,” Mohamed Noureldin, founder and senior legal consultant at Nour Attorneys said.
According to Noureldin, you can request for your passport once the reason for it being seized is no longer valid.
“Passports are seized in criminal cases to ensure parties do not travel outside the country. Usually, this reason expires when the case is ruled upon and the person is exonerated from the crime or the person serves the sentence, or pays the fine or makes a settlement.”
Passports are seized in criminal cases to ensure parties do not travel outside the country. Usually, this reason expires when the case is ruled upon and the person is exonerated from the crime or the person serves the sentence, or pays the fine or makes a settlement
When can I request for my passport?
You may need to request for your passport from a UAE court in cases where it has been seized because of an ongoing case, or because you have stood as guarantor for another person involved in a court case.
“If the person is accused in a non-serious police case, which is mostly punished with a fine, and wants to travel outside UAE for an emergency [and the reason is] accepted by the judge, he may bring a person to guarantee his return. The guarantor will give his passport and claim it back when the person returns to the UAE,” Noureldin said.
“For criminal cases, to release the accused person till the trial is finished, another person may guarantee the attendance and return of this person to the court or police by depositing his passport,” he added.
In case the person accused is exonerated, the guarantor can then ask for his or her passport to be returned. If the accused is found guilty, the request can only be made once the person found guilty has been delivered to the court or police.
How to apply to receive a passport through MOJ
“Depending upon the type of case in which the passport is submitted, you are required to approach the relevant judicial authority or [apply through] the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) website,” Sunil Ambalavelil, a Dubai-based corporate lawyer and legal expert said.
Depending upon the type of case in which the passport is submitted, you are required to approach the relevant judicial authority or [apply through] the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) website
The MOJ website – moj.gov.ae – states that the applicant must have a case registered in the UAE’s Public Prosecution system and also be present before the court to receive the passport.
According to Ambalavelil, these are the required documents that you need to submit along with your request:
• A detailed request for the release of passport;
• Receipt of passport received by the Judicial Authority (for guarantors only)
• Copy of passport and original Emirates ID.
Steps for requesting a passport’s retrieval online
If your passport was seized in a case, here are the steps you should follow to recover your passport:
1. Visit this link here, from MOJ and click on ‘Start Service’ https://www.moj.gov.ae/en/services/services-categories/general/request-to-recover-a-passport.aspx
2. The link will then transfer you to the UAE Public Prosecution’s service – ‘Receiving of Passport’. Click on the ‘Proceed’ button.
3. Before you proceed with the application, you must first create an online account with UAE Public Prosecution. Log in with your UAE Pass account and complete the account set up by providing your date of birth. The account registration will then be complete.
4. After that, you will have access to the application form.
5. Type in the following case information:
• Case number
• Case year
• The prosecution/court’s name
• Reserved place [Emirate]
6. Next, select if you are a party in case or not a party in case. If you are a guarantor, choose ‘not party in case’.
7. If you choose ‘not party in case’, you must then select your relation with the individual – for example: a lawyer or sponsor.
8. After that, upload the required documents and click on submit.
9. Pay the fees for the application, which is Dh20. According to UAE Public Prosecution the application will take one hour to process.
10. After completing the passport application, the judge will either approve or deny the request.
“Once an order is passed for the release of the passport, you are required to visit the authority along with a copy of the decision to retrieve your passport,” Ambalavelil said.