Visiting the UAE? Your passport must now have “two” names. What has changed and why is detailed below.

The United Arab Emirates’ National Advance Information Centre (NAIC) has published a new directive requiring visitors to the Gulf nation to include their full names in their passports. Passengers should properly declare both their first and last names on their passports in accordance with the regulation that went into force on Monday (November 21). However, people with UAE residency cards and people with work visas are exempt from the rule.

What is the new passport requirement for visitors to the UAE?

Immigration agents will classify anyone holding a passport with a single-word name in either the “given name” or “surname” column as a “inadmissible passenger” (INAD) and will not permit them admission into the nation.

For instance, a traveller can no longer fill out his passport’s “given name” or “surname” columns with a single name, such as “Arun”. It’ll be regarded as invalid.

However, a name like “Arun Kumar” will be allowed. The name “Arun Kumar” may be entered as the given name, the surname, or as “Arun” and “Kumar” together. These file types will be recognised.

Khaleej Times reported that numerous Indian citizens with only one name on their passports had already been denied permission to leave the country via plane.

Who is impacted by the UAE’s new traveller passport requirement?

Only those with visitor visas, visas issued upon arrival, and temporary visas are subject to the restriction.

Indian nationals who have employment visas and UAE residency cards are excluded from the rule.

How have airlines reacted to the new passport requirement in the UAE?

According to a notification from Air India, any passport bearer with a single name (word), whether it be in the surname or the name alone, “would not be accepted by UAE immigration and the passenger will be termed INAD.” According to the airline firm, such people won’t be given visas, and if a visa has already been provided, the immigration officials will deem it inadmissible.

Air India Express sent a circular to all travel brokers.

In the meanwhile, Indigo stated: “Passengers having a single name on their passports travelling on a tourist, visit, or any other sort of visa shall not be allowed to travel to/from UAE, as per directives from the UAE authorities, effective 21st November 2022.”

On November 21, 2022, IndiGo Airlines released a circular to travel brokers.

Travel agents are advising individuals to wait for more information before applying for a visa or making any modifications to their existing documents, even though the new restrictions are applicable right away.

Passport name policy as stated by the International Civil Aviation Organization

The convention of writing the name cited under part 3.4 of the International Civil Aviation Organization has been relied upon by the UAE government to apply the new norm (ICAO).

ICAO claims that “The primary identifier and the secondary identifier are typically used to denote the name of the holder. Which portion of the name serves as the principal identification must be determined by the issuing State or organisation. The name in question could be the family name, maiden name or married name, first name, last name, or, in some situations, the complete name if the name of the holder cannot be split into two parts. This needs to be typed into the VIZ’s primary identifier field. The use of upper-case characters is advised, unless the character is a prefix, such as “von,” “Mc,” or “de la,” in which case a combination of upper- and lower-case is acceptable.”

ICAO advises using all uppercase letters and numbers.

Additionally, it states that if a single field is used for the name, the secondary identifier and primary identification must be separated by a single comma (,). If more than one field is used, a comma is not required.

In order to promote safety and expansion in international air travel, the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body, coordinates the concepts and methods of international air navigation.

What factors influence name selection?

Even though having two components to a name is the most typical naming pattern, it differs from country to country around the world. For instance, according to a research report titled “Law Enforcement Guide to International Names,” traditional Arabic names are composed of at least four components and can include five or more generations of ancestry as well as other components like religious title, location of family origin, and an honoured ancestor’s name, etc. Traditional Hispanic names also contain both their father’s and mother’s paternal family names.

India, on the other hand, is complicated by caste and religious issues and lacks a consistent name practise. While many people choose to use their family names or caste names as their surnames, some people choose to use a region or their initials to signify one of their parents or their family name. While some prefer to use their home country, others just stick with their first name to avoid the baggage.