Muscat: Citizens whose passports are likely to expire in the next six months have been called upon by the Royal Oman Police to get these renewed before travelling abroad.
"This is not new, but the emigration officials still face such situations since some travellers have an emergency reason to undertake the journey.
"Aviation companies have urged the travel agencies to install the advance passenger information system to ascertain the dates of passports' expiry and other important information," said a reliable source at Royal Oman Police (ROP).
Advance passenger information system will be mandatory soon
"The call for renewing passports comes due to the repeated complaints received from citizens while trying to enter their destination, holding passports with less than six months to expire," the source at ROP said. He added that the police has already informed that many countries will not allow people to enter if they carry passports that are to expire in the next six months, but the ROP still receives complaints in this regard from citizens.
"Advance passenger information system will be mandatory very soon," said Xavier Jacob Kavalam, Skyline manager. He added that most of travel agencies only procure the name of the travellers and the date of the flight since aviation companies issue tickets at the airport after just checking the names.
"If the advance passenger information system is installed, the expiry dates of passports will also be required," said the Skyline manager. He added that it will be mandatory in future to show your passports or submit the passport details before the tickets are to be issued.
He also said that many aviation companies have been sending circulars to install the advance passenger information system.
Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan of News Star International Travel and Tourism, said that it is an international norm. "We did not receive anything regarding this issue from the ROP, but we in any case know that this is the worldwide law," said Shafiqul Islam. He also said that his company always advises travellers to check their passports and renew them if these have less than six months to expire. "Our company did not register any such case as it is our regular practice to advise customers to check their passports before travelling," said Shafiqul Islam.
An official of a travel agency in Muscat who did not want to be named said that 99.9 per cent of the travel agencies advise people to renew their passports before travelling in case their passports are to expire within six months.
"Most people in Oman are aware of the rule, though there are some who even after knowing the rule, still take their chances by going to the airport," said the source.
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