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Travel bans and exceptions in the UAE

Travel bans and exceptions in the UAE

The freedom to travel is considered a very important right in the UAE.  However, this right is not absolute, and certain limitations can be imposed through law. One of such restrictions is the imposition of a travel ban on the child.

The UAE Personal Status law deals with the travel ban in the country. As per Article 1491 of the same law, the custodian (mother) is not permitted to take the child outside the country without the permission of the guardian (father). Further, it also states that the father can make an application for preventing the mother from taking the child outside the country.

While imposing a travel ban, it is essential to satisfy certain conditions. The court, in decision no. 33 of 2021, while encountering the same issue, provided some factors which must be kept in mind before imposing a travel ban. These factors include-

  • The nationality of the guardian, and if one of the parents is local citizens or not.
  • Proofs demonstrating that the father or mother is going to travel with the child very soon.
  • Previous evidence indicates that one of the parents has travelled with the child without the permission of the other.
  • Valid residency visa of the child and the applicant.

If the court finds out the application for imposition is infructuous, he may allow one of the parties to travel with the child.

  1. Custodian to Travel with the child

The factors that should be considered while permitting a custodian (mother) to travel with the child are as follows-

  • The nationality of the custodian and the child
  • The valid residency visa of the both the custodian and the child
  • The child should be registered in any educational institutions of the country.
  • The custodian should be working in the UAE.
  • The distance, time period, etc. of the travel shall also need to be taken into consideration.
  • The marital status of the custodian
  • Details of the person accompanying the custodian and the child
  • Previous compliance with the order of the court.
  1.  Guardian to travel with the Child –

It was one such rare case in which the court lists out the conditions in which the guardian can also be allowed to travel with the child. These changes are made in order to protect the best interest of the child. Some of the factors are as follows-

  • The guardian needs to demonstrate that the custodian has objected to his travel and the objection was totally illegitimate and unreasonable. The harm received by the guardian would be very much higher than the benefits received by the custodian.
  • The guardian and the child both have a legitimate residency visa.
  • The family of the Guardian must be living in the UAE
  • The guardian is working in the UAE.
  • The reason of travel and the period between departure and return as per the request
  • The marital status of the Guardian
  • Details of the person accompanying the guardian and the child
  • Previous compliance with the order of the court.

Conclusion

It is a landmark judgement pertaining to the concept of child ban and the conditions in which the guardian or the custodian is permitted to travel. However, it should also be noted that the judgement was delivered  keeping in mind the facts of the case; their strict application can’t be assured in the future cases.

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