Online validation gives immigration dept added teeth

24 October 2010, DUBAI — The Dubai immigration department found no invalid or forged visa this year since the launch of an online verification system which airlines and related offices use, Brigadier Obaid Muhair bin Surour, Deputy Director-General, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) told Khaleej Times. The immigration office found over 2,000 invalid visas last year before the launch of the service which is available on the website of the GDRFA. Failing to verify the validity of the entry visa, the airliner has to spend for the deportation and return fees of the passenger who is denied entry, Brig. Surour said. An airliner or individual needs only to insert the visa applicant’s name, gender, date of birth and nationality on grounds of privacy to avail the first of its kind service in the region at www.ednrd.ae. Brig. Surour said the Dubai immigration section is in a continuous process of developing services. “We spare no effort in facilitating customer services, in line with the tightest security measures. The advanced online inquiry is one of 168 immigration electronic services the department provides,” the official said. “The Expertise Centre Identity and Fraud Documents (ECIFD) — the first of its kind in the region, has trained all the Dubai immigration staff on the new security system,” Brig. Surour said. The centre, which was first launched in 2009, also provides training to immigration staffers in the other emirates, apart from GCC and Arab countries. “The international nature of the centre helps curb forgery not only in the UAE, but also in the other countries whose immigration staff receive training here,” he said, adding that exchanging relevant information regionally and worldwide is an asset in the verification process. Brig. Surour said that as part of the new security system, the picture of all Emiratis, residents and visitors is taken upon arrival at the Dubai airport terminals. “Though the rule was put in effect two months back, the process is being done in a very smooth and quick manner without any delay.” Brig. Surour said that most of the forged passports, in previous years were found on passengers from certain countries. “Some passengers pass by the country on their way to Europe for ‘status’ purposes using forged passports.” Storing data on travel documents and ID cards from over 200 countries, the ECIFD centre comprises four sections spanning document examination, Edison travel, training, as well as innovation and technique section. The Document Examination Section is the first point of contact for questions regarding documents and means of payment and also has a help desk forgery unit. “Organisations with questions concerning documents can reach the helpdesk by telephone, e-mail or fax,” he said. The helpdesk advises on matters, such as the verification of authenticity and validity of documents. Other than the helpdesk, there are forgery labs at the terminals as well as a documentation, statistics and analysis units. While documents are all registered on the Edison TD and on the discs specialised systems under the Edison Travel Document Section — the third section of the ECIF centre, the innovation and technique section focuses on partnership locally and worldwide. “As for the training section, it develops and maintains the level of expertise regarding document checks for national and international investigations and enforcement organisations at home and abroad. “The training is divided into three levels: basic, advanced and expert in view of the levels of forgery,” he said. ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com https://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/October/theuae_October601.xml&section=theuae
Online validation gives immigration dept added teeth
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