This guide clarifies who needs OK To Board (OTB), how to determine passport eligibility, and the simple steps to acquire OTB clearance, ensuring a hassle-free journey to the UAE.
What is OK To Board?
OK To Board (OTB) is a requirement when traveling to the United Arab Emirates. OTB is required by airlines to help reduce the number of people traveling with fraudulent or fake visas.
Who Requires OK To Board?
OK To Board is required for passengers traveling on an Emigration Check Required (ECR) passport on airlines including Indigo Airlines, Air India, Air India Express, Emirates and Etihad.
Who does not Require OK To Board?
OK To Board is not required for passengers traveling on a Non-Emigration Check Required (previously ECNR) passport on airlines including Indigo Airlines, Air India, Air India Express, Emirates and Etihad. However, if your passport is ECR as mentioned above, then you need to get OK to Board before boarding.
How do I know if my passport is ECR or non-ECR (previously ECNR)?
Finding out if you have an ECR or non-ECR passport is quite simple. There are two main cases depending on the recency of your passport:
- If you have an older booklet-type passport, check to see if you have an ECR stamp. The third page of your passport usually contains the stamp. If you have a stamp, you have an ECR passport. On the other hand, if you do not have a stamp, you have a non-ECR passport.
- If you have a newer booklet-type passport, check the last page of the booklet to see if you have “Emigration Check Required” printed above the Name of Father/Legal Guardian column. If you have this phrase printed, you have an ECR passport. Conversely, if you do not have this phrase printed, you have a non-ECR passport.
In short, check to see if you have a stamp or phrase indication your Emigration Check Required status. If you do have the stamp or phrase, you have an ECR passport and will require an OK To Board prior to entering the United Arab Emirates. If you do not have this stamp or phrase, you have a non-ECR (formerly ECNR) passport and you do not require an OK To Board prior to entering the United Arab Emirates.
How do I get OK To Board?
After getting your visa to visit the United Arab Emirates, send an email to your airline along with your ticket PNR number, approved visa, and copy of the front and back of your passport. After verifying the documents, the airline will mark OTB next to your name.
Looking on tips to get a visa to the United Arab Emirates? Check out our article on on how to get a Dubai tourist visa!