Morning on the 12 May I was on route to Boston via Dubai. When I tried to reconnect to Boston I was stopped by someone who told me he was an immigration representative. This person refused that I continued to the US cause he said the US does not want me there. He claimed my passport and visa were fake.

I produced both the old and new passport. He took all my travel documents and I was detained in an Emirates holding room at the Dubai Airport for 16 hours and then sent back to South Africa. I had a valid US visa, valid passport and 5000 usd. I tried to contact the US consulate but that was hopeless cause they wouldnt allow me to talk to anyone to look into my issue.

I am back here at home now and still cannot go to the consulate to check what happened. I sent an email to a consulate website and they claim to respond within 48 hours nothing has happened. How can I resolve this issue? Can Emirates unilaterally hijack my trip without an immigration interview?

I have since got a response from the American consulate and they have suggested I contact the UAE embassy. Apparently the UAE have information that my passport was reported as stolen. Strange cause I did get their own 96 hour visa and was allowed into Dubai. During this ordeal while still in Dubai the UAE immigration did not accept responsibility for the passport issue and claimed the report came from the USA. The South African home affairs has given me a letter disputing their claims. Last week I gave the UAE embassy the letter and my complaint am waiting for their response. I was treated quite shabbily in Dubai. This is new to me and quite shaken. What can I expect to be reimbursed for?

  • 1
    Did you get any paper when you were sent back? Were you on a single ticket (flying Emirates all the way) with onward boarding pass already in your hand? Please provide more information (like your flight details). As written it is unclear what your exact situation was and what you wish to ask.
    – RedBaron
    May 17 '17 at 7:10
  • I had a boarding pass. A return ticket. Yes I was flying Emirates for all four legs; SA-Dubai, Dubai-Boston and return. I was refused to enter the flight to Boston from Dubai. They refused to give me a written refusal and was told US immigration did not want me there. I dont understand and am trying to find clearance from US so I can reclaim my ticket from Emirates.
    – Mamtiaz
    May 17 '17 at 7:28
  • The US consulate in Johannesburg can only see me with an appointment but I cannot seem to get one cause I am not applying for a Visa and I do not have a written refusal of entry from their immigration.
    – Mamtiaz
    May 17 '17 at 7:32
  • 3
    Who was that representative? What nation did he represent? Did he only claimed, or was, or you are not sure? If a person get refused to US, the airline must bring that person back on their cost, so they are likely to be too eager to stop passangers from boarding in case of any doubt. May 17 '17 at 8:22
  • 3
    He claimed my passport and visa were fake On what evidence did he say that ? Little surprising that he didn't give a reason why. Did you ask the airline officials, he might have mentioned it to them.
    – DumbCoder
    May 17 '17 at 11:22

The best advice you can get is get an attorney to attempt to unravel this. The details of your ordeal are scant and in my opinion not one that strangers on the internet can give you any meaningful guidance on. Fraud or allegations of fraud is involved which is a serious issue with significant immigration consequences. Chances of you reclaiming your ticket from Emirates are slim and none.

You might be on a no fly list either in error or suspicions of terrorism or because your name and profile may coincide with some terrorist and/or your visa might even be fake or already voided. Too many things for us to speculate here.

  • "not one that strangers on the internet can give you any meaningful guidance on" hear, hear
    – Fattie
    May 17 '17 at 14:43

In general, the contract between you and the airline is set out in the airline's Conditions of Carriage, which Emirates should provide to you on request. You'd need to look at the up-to-date version which applies to your specific ticket, but a brief web search throws up this old version. The most relevant text in this version seems to be in Article 7, specifically

We have the right to refuse to carry you or your Baggage on any flight (even if you hold a valid Ticket and have a boarding pass) if ...

7.1.12 you appear, in our exclusive opinion, not to meet requisite visa requirements or not to have valid or lawfully acquired travel documents or to have acquired them by fraudulent means or you wish to travel to or enter a country through which you may be in transit for which you do not have valid travel documents or meet the requisite visa requirements, or you destroy your travel documents aboard the aircraft or between check-in and boarding, or you refuse to allow us to copy your travel documents, or you refuse to surrender your travel documents to the flight crew, against receipt, when so requested;

You would need a legal opinion to be certain (I'm not a lawyer, let alone a lawyer in whichever country would have jurisdiction), but this would appear to give Emirates the right to refuse to carry you if they believe any of your relevant travel documents to be faked. The question of refunds gets dealt with in article 10. My reading of it is that Emirates reserves the right not to refund you for a flight for which you are refused boarding, and to use the value of any other tickets you held to pay for flying you back home.


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