Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Please see below for answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive. Please check this list and the other sections of this website listed on the left before you contact us. If your question is answered here, we will direct you back to this website.


Contacting ACS

In an emergency, please see our emergency contacts page. For routine inquiries not answered on this website, please email the ACS section at DubaiACS@state.gov or call +971 04-309-4000 (dialing from the U.S. 011-971-4-309-4000) during our public phone hours from 8:00am to 10:00am Sunday through Thursday. Questions about U.S. visa applications are not considered emergencies and will not be answered by American Citizen Services.


Appointments

To make an appointment for a service at the U.S. Consulate, please follow the instructions for the service you are requesting on this website, such as passport renewals and adding pages, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and notary services. It is possible to have several services during the same visit to the U.S. Consulate. Please make a separate appointment for each service and a separate appointment for each person receiving a service. For example, each member of a family renewing a passport must have a separate appointment.

Please make a separate appointment for each individual service and a separate appointment for each person receiving a service, even if everyone is in the same family.

Please use your confirmation number to change your appointment using our online appointment system. If you did not save your confirmation number, you may email us with your name, date of birth, email address, type of appointment and date of appointment. We will cancel the appointment for you to allow you to make a new appointment.

On the day of your scheduled appointment your name will be given to the guards at the U.S Consulate. While your confirmation sheet is helpful, it is not necessary for entry as long as you have an appointment. Please be sure to bring a valid photo ID.

Please plan in advance and monitor our website for available appointments. If you have an emergency, please send an email to DubaiACS@state.gov with a full explanation as to the reason this is an emergency and advance planning was not possible. Please note that there is no way to expedite routine passport services outside the United States.

Our system does not send an automatic email confirming your appointment.

Please check back later. We release appointments periodically, during business hours. Additionally, we frequently have openings when people cancel appointments.

Our appointment system is maintained centrally in Washington, D.C. Occasionally, Washington is updating the system or our connectivity is lost. Please try again later.


Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs)

Please see our website for more information on applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and a first time passport for a child. Please pay close attention to the original documents and photocopies you should bring with you to the appointment. You may apply for a CRBA and a passport separately if you choose. After the applications are submitted, the processing time is about three weeks for the CRBA and one to two weeks for the passport application. We refer you to UAE immigration authorities for the UAE rules about documenting the birth of a child in the UAE and applying for a residency visa.

General processing time from the date of your application is one to two weeks for passports, three weeks for CRBAs, and six weeks for passport cards. You will receive an email automatically generated by our system when your passport, CRBA, or card is ready for pickup at the U.S. Consulate in Dubai. When you receive the email, please pick up your document during the public hours listed on your receipt. Our public hours are generally afternoons from 12:30pm to 2:30pm, except Mondays and U.S. and local holidays. If you do not receive an email, please check your junk email folder; sometimes our automatic messages go there. If you cannot locate our email, please contact us by email.

It is possible for a U.S. citizen to have two valid U.S. passports if he or she can show a compelling reason for the need for a second passport. The second passport has a limited validity of two years. More information on how to obtain a second passport is available here.


Other Government Services

Please be advised that fingerprinting private citizens is not a public service that is offered at US Embassies abroad.

In every country there is a law enforcement authority that has the capability and expertise to do fingerprints.

You may reach the Dubai Police Headquarters’ fingerprint division at +971 04 609 6841 and +971 04 609 6843, and more information is available on the Dubai Police website. The following documents are required:

Original Passport and copy
UAE resident visa copy

Two photographs

A fee of 65 AED payable by credit card or 53 AED e-Dirham which can be purchased from Emirates Post or Immigration Authority, cash is not acceptable.

If authentication of the fingerprints is required, please visit https://ae.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/document-authentication/.

On February 4, 2018, the UAE government began requiring “Certificates of Good Conduct” for employment-based residency permits.  The Consulate does not issue Certificates of Good Conduct.  Instead, you will need to apply for an Identity History Summary Check directly through the FBI.  For more information on how to initiate an Identity History Summary Check, please visit the following website:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/while-abroad/criminal-record-checks.html

The FBI will require fingerprints for this purpose and the Consulate does not provide this service.  The Dubai Police will generally take fingerprints at their headquarters. You may reach the Dubai Police Headquarters’ fingerprint division at +971 04 609 6841 and +971 04 609 6843, and more information is available on the Dubai Police website. Please be sure to bring your ID card and passport with you.  For more information on the FBI’s requirements for fingerprint card submissions, including the option to print out the FBI’s standard FD-258 cards, please see the FBI’s Fingerprints and Biometrics website.

The UAE government requires the Identity History Summary Check to be authenticated.  Applicants must request a certified copy of their Identity History Summary Check from the FBI so that it can be authenticated by the Department of State’s Office of Authentications, the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, and finally the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai.  A list of companies in Dubai who will perform this entire service on your behalf can be found here under the “Authentications/Attestations of Documents” tab.

To assist U.S. citizens who have questions about the Certificate of Good Conduct requirement, our office has confirmed the following details with UAE officials:

  • The certificate requirement applies to all new employment-based residency permit applications.  It does not apply to renewals of existing permits.
  • The certificate is only required for the principal residency permit applicant.  Certificates are not required for spouses and children.
  • A certificate will be required from every country in which the applicant has resided during the previous five years.  For more information on how to obtain certificates from other countries, please visit the Department of State’s webpage on Reciprocity and Civil Documents.
  • The certificate must be issued within three months of the application for the residency permit.
  • The certificate must be authenticated by the UAE embassy in the country that issued the certificate and subsequently authenticated by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  You can find more information on the authentication process on our website.
  • Students are exempted from the certificate requirement.

For further information regarding UAE residency permit requirements, please contact the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs directly.

The U.S. Consulate in Dubai does not have a Social Security Administration Federal Benefits Unit (FBU).  Beginning October 1, 2017, the Consulate will no longer be allowed to perform FBU services, including the acceptance of applications for Social Security Cards for minor children (under age 12), without written authorization from the regional FBU in Jerusalem.  Applicants requiring FBU services in Dubai must contact FBU Jerusalem directly to request authorization for this.  Their complete contact information can be found at:  https://www.ssa.gov/foreign/foreign.htm

If you have previously applied for a Social Security Card in Dubai and you are writing to inquire about the status of your application, you must email FBU Jerusalem at:  fbu.jerusalem@ssa.gov

Before contacting the Embassy, please review the Social Security Administration’s website for information on how to apply for benefits online. In most cases you can apply for benefits from the comfort of your home. Please also see the Social Security page on our website.

Federal law requires that a U.S. passport applicant provide a social security number on the passport application, if the applicant has one. Applicants who have a Social Security Number but fail to provide it are subject to a 500 USD penalty enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. Please visit our Social Security page for information on how to apply for a social security number.

You must obtain these kinds of documents from the issuing authority. You should contact the vital records department in the U.S. state in which your document (birth, marriage, divorce, or death certificate) was issued to obtain a certified copy. You may find a list of all U.S. states’ Vital Records departments here.

Immigrant visa petitions must be filed through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The American Citizen Services section does not provide immigrant or non-immigrant visa services or information. Moreover, the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai does not process immigrant visas; all immigrant visas in the UAE are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi. For U.S. immigrant visa questions, please visit Abu Dhabi’s Immigrant Visa Unit’s website. For U.S. non-immigrant visa questions, please visit Dubai’s Non-Immigrant Visa Unit’s website.


Emergencies

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger in the UAE, you should contact the police at 999. The Dubai Police (English speaking operator) non-emergency number is 04-269-4848 (dialing from the U.S. 011-971-4-269-4848).

If you know an American citizen who is arrested or seriously injured in Dubai, please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai to let us know, or encourage the person to contact us him or herself at DubaiACS@state.gov or 04-309-4000. In arrest cases, the ACS Section will confirm that the person is in police custody and will visit him or her at the earliest opportunity. Please read additional information on the Consulate’s role in arrest cases. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consulate is not able to provide any legal advice or assistance to Americans who are arrested. If you, or someone you know, require legal representation, we strongly suggest that you hire the services of a local attorney so that he or she may give you accurate, detailed, and correct information on legal proceedings in the UAE. Please see our website for a list of local attorneys and general information on the UAE court system. In addition, please know that every American is protected under the Privacy Act of 1974. We are not allowed to discuss an American citizen’s situation, even with his or her immediate family, without his or her written authorization. Please be aware that we frequently receive calls and emails from American citizens seeking to help a friend who has been arrested or injured in Dubai, and the friend is known through a relationship based on internet and phone contact. Many times the person in trouble is requesting money. In all cases the best way to help the person is to advise them to contact the U.S. Consulate directly. We do not recommend you send any money to someone you do not know well and have not met in person.


Traveling to the UAE

Please see the list of Controlled Medicines and Medications registered with the Ministry of Health in the UAE and enforced by the UAE Ministry of Interior and International Narcotic Controlled Board (INCB). These items are essentially available only in hospitals and in large community pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. The Ministry of Health advises that unlicensed, controlled medicines can only be imported into the UAE through hospitals and not by individuals. The Ministry of Health does have special regulations for personal import of such items: patients or travelers carrying prescribed prescription medications must have their prescriptions issued by licensed U.S. doctors, attested by a notary public, and duly authenticated by both the secretary of state of one’s U.S. state, and finally also authenticated by the Secretary of State of the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C. The Dubai Government has additional information on how to avoid bringing banned substances into the UAE.

In some cases, even with a prescription, American citizens have been detained with controlled medications. The U.S. Consulate General assumes no responsibility or liability for the authority to allow or refuse entry to the UAE with controlled medications.

Further queries may be directed to the UAE Ministry of Health’s Drug Control Department.

Website: http://www.moh.gov.ae

Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 (2) 6330000

Dubai Tel: +971 (4) 3966000

Email: info@moh.gov.ae

U.S. citizens traveling on blue tourist passports generally do not require a visa to enter the UAE for stays under 30 days, but the passport must usually be valid for at least six months from the date of entry. The ACS section does not process UAE residency or tourist visas. Please check with UAE immigration or the UAE embassy to the United States for the most accurate information. General information on travel to the UAE for U.S. citizens is available on the Department of State’s website.

General information on travel to the UAE for U.S. citizens is available on the Department of State’s website. Please also see the website of the UAE Embassy to the United States for their guidance on planning a trip and traveling in a Muslim country. Please also see the Dubai Government’s information on banned items in the UAE. Living in the UAE as an American Citizen

Please enroll in the U.S. State Department’s online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive U.S. Consulate General Dubai’s warden messages for U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens should use the STEP program to register rather than coming to the Consulate General in person.

To unsubscribe from the STEP program or to or change your location, please visit the STEP website and update your profile. You may leave the list at any time by sending an email to LISTSERV@CALIST.STATE.GOV with “SIGNOFF POST_DUBAI” as the subject line. U.S. citizens are responsible for both subscribing and unsubscribing themselves from Embassy and Consulate General message lists. We are unable to manually remove citizens from these lists.

The U.S. Consulate does not perform marriages. Please read our information on marriages in the UAE, including guidance on how to prepare a personal affidavit of eligibility to marry, which we can notarize for you at the Consulate.

You do not need to “register” your marriage with the Consulate. You may, if you choose, authenticate your UAE marriage certificate. Please follow the steps listed on our authentications and attestations page.

If you would like to change your passport to your married name, you should follow the process for renewing a passport, but bring an original marriage certificate with you to the Consulate as proof of your new name.

A Warden is a private citizen who helps the U.S. Consulate’s American Citizen Services section communicate with Americans, especially during an emergency. Please see our website to learn more about volunteering as a Warden.

Please visit our website for information regarding voter registration and absentee ballots. The U.S. Government’s main source for voting information is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)’s website at www.FVAP.gov.

The U.S. Consulate General is not able to become involved in private civil legal proceedings. If you require legal representation, we suggest that you hire the services of a local attorney. Please see our list of local attorneys and general information on the UAE court system.

For labor disputes, you may also contact the Ministry of Labor to file a formal complaint against the employer:

website:http://www.mol.gov.ae/english/newindex.aspx#,www.mol.gov.ae

phone: 04-7023333, 04-2691666 or 800-665 (toll free)

email: ecomplain@mol.gov.ae, labour@mol.gov.ae, helpdesk@mol.gov.ae

For more information, please review the Department of State’s website regarding judicial assistance.

The U.S. Consulate does not process applications related to UAE residency and is unable to respond to questions related to residency or sponsorship. Please contact the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.

The U.S. Consulate General in Dubai does not provide letters of no objection, including but not limited to no objection to sponsor a family member’s UAE residence visa and no objection to U.S. citizens traveling to other countries. The one exception is a no objection letter for the shipment of the remains of a deceased U.S. Citizen back to the United States.


Other questions

The U.S. Consulate in Dubai maintains lists of attorneys and tax preparation specialists on our website for U.S. citizens seeking assistance. The U.S. Consulate assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms on the lists. To be considered for inclusion on the website list as a firm or individual, you must have a local office. You must also fill out a questionnaire and sign it in front of a consular officer. The U.S. Consulate is under no obligation to list every interested party. For more information, please email us.

Renouncing your citizenship is a very serious decision. We recommend that you first review the information on the Department of State’s website under Loss of Citizenship and Nationality. If you wish to proceed, please email us to schedule an appointment. You will have at least two interviews at the U.S. Consulate to complete the processing of your renunciation application.

You may pay your passport, CRBA, pages, notarial, and other service fees in U.S. dollars or dirhams, by cash or credit card. Exact change is appreciated, especially if you are planning to pay in U.S. dollars.