Dubai: Planning to travel out soon? If so, you may want to check if you have a travel ban, in case you have an ongoing court case or have missed your credit card payments.
But, how can you check if you have a travel ban on you and why it was placed?
Gulf News spoke with lawyers in the UAE to find out how individuals can check if and why they have a ban on them, and how they can request for the ban to be lifted.
Why do I have a travel ban against me?
According to Dr Hassan Elhais, legal consultant at Dubai-based Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal consultants, the travel bans can be placed for different reasons, including immigration violations, outstanding debts or personal status law issues.
“One of the most prevalent causes for a travel restriction is due to outstanding liabilities,” Dr Elhais said.
“In case there is a travel ban against you, the details of such travel restrictions are updated on the official system. Therefore, when you get to know from any department that there is a travel ban against you, then it is more likely that they may also share some reasons with you as well so that you may plan further actions accordingly,” he added.
In case there is a travel ban against you, the details of such travel restrictions are updated on the official system. Therefore, when you get to know from any department that there is a travel ban against you, then it is more likely that they may also share some reasons with you as well so that you may plan further actions accordingly.
How can I check if I have a travel ban on me?
Ahmed Gabr, Legal Adviser at Elnaggar and Partners, spoke about the different ways in which individuals can check if they a travel ban on them.
In Dubai, the easiest method to enquire regarding a travel ban is by using the Dubai Police’s free of cost online service. These are the various platforms available for the enquiry:
1. The Dubai Police app - 'Dubai Police', available for Android and Apple phones.
2. The Dubai Police website – dubaipolice.gov.ae
3. Smart Police stations
Steps to follow
1. Enter Dubai Police app or website and select ‘services’.
2. Click on ‘Criminal Status of Financial cases’.
3. Enter your Emirates ID number
4. Verify your identity via a one-time password (OTP) sent through an SMS on your registered mobile number.
This service allows the public to enquire about their criminal cases in financial cases registered in Dubai Police Stations only, in addition to any travel bans. Read our detailed guide on how to use the Dubai Police app for travel ban inquiries here.
Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah
In Abu Dhabi, the Estafer service by the Judicial Department of Abu Dhabi 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, you must enter his/her unified ID (UID) number. You can access the service here - https://www.adjd.gov.ae/sites/eServices/EN/Pages/Estafser.aspx.
Ras Al Khaimah
You can also check the status of any court or public prosecution case you may have against you in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, by using the RAK government’s official portal here - https://www.rak.ae/wps/portal/rak/e-services/govt/public-prosecution-department/inquiry-status-services/case-inquiry-public-prosecution-guide.
You would need to provide your case number and year to enquire about the status of the case.
You can also reach out to the Ras Al Khaimah’s Public Prosecution on 07 2070000.
If you do not have a case number reference, you can visit a police station in Ras Al Khaimah, and ask for the CID section to place an inquiry.
Checking with an immigration or police authority
“Similarly, a travel ban check can be conducted using your passport number by calling an Amer service, or by visiting a police station in the UAE to make an inquiry about a complaint filed against them,” Gabr said.
Hiring a lawyer
If you are unable to check through any of the methods listed above, you can also hire the services of a lawyer.
“Individuals can engage a law firm which specialises in immigration services, who would be able to verify if you have a travel ban, guide you through the reasons behind it, and assist you with lifting the ban, if possible,” Gabr said.
“The free online services offered by ministries in the UAE to verify the imposition of a travel ban only inform you of the reason behind the ban in brief. It is recommended to visit a branch of the Ministry of Interior, or a police station, to discuss your case with an official and receive guidance on how to lift your travel ban. Alternatively, if you are located outside the UAE, communicating with a law firm, and giving a lawyer Power of Attorney to act on your behalf would ensure you receive all details relating to your travel ban,” Gabr said.
2. By enquiring with the courts or public prosecution – this can be done on their websites.
3. By checking with the immigration department of the Emirate.
4. By hiring a lawyer to enquire on your behalf.
Individuals can engage a law firm which specialises in immigration services, who would be able to verify if you have a travel ban, guide you through the reasons behind it, and assist you with lifting the ban, if possible.
How can I lift a travel ban?
If a travel ban is imposed due to a criminal offence or another reason, the Ministry of Justice website allows individuals or lawyers to submit a request to appeal a travel ban order online for free, Gabr said.
To read details of how you can do so, click here.
“This process would take five working days and requires applicants to submit documents supporting their application and reasoning why the travel ban should be canceled. This service requires a UAE pass, which means that those without relevant documents, such as an Emirates ID, would need to provide an authorised person with a Power of Attorney to act on their behalf,” Gabr said.
If you have a ban in place due to outstanding debt, it may be lifted after completing all the formalities after you have paid the outstanding amount.
“A clearance letter should be acquired by the debtor from the creditor and a request to lift the travel ban should be submitted to the authorities. A decision from the relevant authorities shall be issued within five working days from the date of the submission of the request to lift the travel ban,” Gabr said.