People getting ready to travel to and from the UAE will have to ensure that their passports have their primary (first name) and secondary (surname) names mentioned properly.
An advisory issued by the Air India and the Air India Express has made clear that as per the National Advance Information Center – UAE, any passport holder with a single name (word) either in surname or given name will not be accepted by the UAE immigration and the passenger will be considered inadmissible.
The new guideline has been implemented with immediate effect for travel to the UAE. This is applicable only to passengers with visit visa, visa on arrival, employment, and temporary visas and is not applicable to existing UAE resident card holders.
“There are a lot of passengers whose full name or single name is mentioned in the column of ‘first name’ or ‘surname’ in their passport,” a senior Air India officer told The Hindu.
“We could see roughly around 10 people with such names in every 1,000. Mostly, people from North India have such issues with their passports. As per the new directive, these passengers will not be issued visa and in case the visa was issued previously, he/she will be inadmissible by immigration. It is learnt that the new change was brought in as part of security reasons,” he said.
The airlines have also started to bar people with only their first names on passports from flying out of the country’s airports.