Thursday, June 12, 2008

Major revamp of visit visa norms

Major revamp of visit visa norms
By Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Our staff reporter)KHALEEJ TIMES 12 June 2008

ABU DHABI — Under the new visit visa rule which comes into effect from August 1, residents sponsoring their immediate family members, which include spouse, children and parents, are expected to pay a Dh1,000 deposit, refundable on exit, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Besides, the sponsor seeking to apply for visit visa for his immediate family or first degree relatives (brother, sister, aunt, uncle) should draw a minimum monthly salary of Dh5,000, the new rule states.

Currently, visit visa for an immediate family member does not require any refundable deposit. The deposit of Dh2,000 is paid only in case the sponsor applies for visit visa for a first degree or second degree relative. However, it is not very clear whether the new visit visa rule requires a refundable deposit to be made even for immediate family members.

A meeting of officials of the Naturalisation and Residency Departments of all emirates will be held today in Ajman to discuss and clarify all the fine points and procedural requirements of the new visit visa rule.

The amended rule, according to the by-laws, regulates issuance of visit visas and will now oblige the sponsors who want to bring their relatives to pay

Dh1,000 guarantee which is refundable when the visitor leaves the country.

Colonel Darwish Eid Ebaid Al Meheri, Director of Visas and Residency Department at the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department (FNRD) at the Ministry of Interior, had earlier said, "The sponsors who want to bring their relatives to the country on visit visa must pay the guarantee of Dh1,000, in addition to providing the health insurance before issuing the visa".

However, the situation will change by August 1, as the sponsors (nationals or expatriates) who want to bring first or second degree relatives must deposit a Dh1,000 refundable guarantee.

According to Article 40 of the by-law regulating the implementation of the new visit visa structure, the guarantee deposit will be refunded once the visitor leaves the country.

Expatriate residents can seek visit visas only for their relatives such as spouses, parents, children, brothers and sisters. However, in case of friends, the sponsor must be a UAE national.

Meanwhile, if the visitor arriving in the UAE is a second-degree relative such as cousins or nephews, the application must be endorsed by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) or approved by the director of naturalisation and residency of the respective emirate.

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