I'm a 25 year old unmarried male Indian citizen

My parents live in Dubai and hence I fly there atleast once every 3 months on a tourist visa.

Departing from India, immigration often grills me on if I am holding a job outside India, why do I travel so frequently, if I am "absolutely sure" I am not working in Dubai and so on. (I do not have ECR(People below a certain education level have an ECR stamp which means they need Indian governments permission to leave India under some circumstances))

In Dubai, without fail the customs guy at the exit will pull me to the side, go through my passport, ask where I am going to and after seeing all the UAE stamps again repeat the same Q&A process I went through in India

The flight back to India is usually OK (I hardly have anything with me)

Are there specific behavior patterns that can avoid such questioning from India - UAE? Or is it something I just need to live with?

  • 2
    It is curious that you are being stopped by customs and not immigration, are you carrying a lot of luggage? They might suspect smuggling of goods or similar. Mar 26, 2015 at 4:23
  • @BurhanKhalid It seems to be inverse.. the one time I traveled with only a back pack, they made me unpack everything at Dubai. The only time I wasnt stopped was when I had a big suitcase+ cabin bag+backpack, usually I travel with cabin bag + backpack. (Ofcourse 1 incident isnt enough of a trend to conclude anything)
    – user87166
    Mar 26, 2015 at 12:41
  • Not worthy of an answer, but.... do you ever happen to notice the same people all the time? if you thoroughly explain your reasons to someone and that same person is there the next time, perhaps you can make it personal... "hey JoeBob, how are the kids... yeah, I'm on my way to the parents again" sort of thing.
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 26, 2015 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately short of getting a permanent resident visa in Dubai (I don't believe your parents can sponsor you due to your age and gender), you would just have to grin and bear it.

The reality is that there are a lot of companies in the UAE that use its liberal visa policy to get around the employment visa restrictions/quotas. This way they can employ people "under the table"; the only cost is to send them outside to reset their visas every 90 days or whatever is the limit on visit visas.

  • Yeah.. we had looked into the residence visa, but seems like males above 21 cannot be sponsored by parents :( Someone suggested a fake employment visa (visa against dummy job) also, but seemed way too risky to mess with immigration like that
    – user87166
    Mar 26, 2015 at 12:43

Yes - stop doing what you're doing. But I presume that's not in your options ;)

Sometimes it just happens that your normal activity fits within the bounds of 'unusual or suspicious activity' - it happens to be similar to activity that is often indicative of people trying to over stay, work illegally and so on.

Another example, I flew from Bogota, Colombia to the US (Florida) after 3 days in Colombia. On my own. As a male in his 20s. With only a backpack. This has in the past caused suspicion and as a result, I got a LOT of questions that day. They checked everything, finally asking "do you realise why we're asking you these questions?". I could guess. It just happened that the innocent end of my backpacking trip in South America was similar to a frequent suspicious pattern.

So yeah, it sucks, but have your papers ready, a smile and hopefully it'll get you through faster.

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