Those working on visit visa face Dh50,000 penalty
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: July 23, 2008, 13:51
Dubai: People caught working on a visit visa will be fined more than Dh50,000 and banned from entering the UAE and those employing them will face harsh penalties, a senior interior ministry official said on Wednesday.
He said companies can hire such people temporarily on a contract from the Ministry of Labour. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) announced the new visa changes which will be implemented on July 29 at a meeting with representatives of hotels and tourist agencies.
Under the new rules each visa applicant will have to pay a Dh1,000 refundable deposit, Mohammad Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of the Department of Entry Permits at the DNRD, said.
"Now everybody will need health insurance when they enter the country. People could be involved in a traffic accident or get a health problem," he said.
He said the new visa rules will have a positive impact on the tourism sector and the labour market as they will curb illegal overstaying.
Al Hammadi said the 34 nationalities who earlier got a free visit visa for 60 days upon arrival will now have to pay.
These nationals can now get a visa on arrival for 30 days for a fee of Dh100. This visa can be extended for another 30 days for a fee of Dh600.
"These nationals are exempt from health insurance and from paying the Dh1,000 deposit," he added.
The Dh100 fee will affect citizens from the UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and citizens of GCC states.
Resident expatriates who bring their spouses on a visit visa can change it to a residence visa, but they cannot work, he said. Each application will be studied carefully before issuing it and the application should be logical.
Individuals and companies can apply for visit visas, he said. Tourist visas can only be applied for by licensed travel agencies and hotels. They cannot be submitted by individuals. The official said there would be no visa runs to nearby countries.
"People who go there from the UAE after the expiry of their visa will not be issued a new visa. It is best for them to go back to their country and wait for their visa to enter the UAE again," he said.
He said a visit visa holder will be allowed to enter the UAE once within two months from the date of issue of the visa.
Residents can apply for a visa for their spouse or blood relative. Expatriates will not be allowed to sponsor friends. And sponsoring other blood relatives will require approval of an undersecretary of the Interior Ministry or their representative.
Details on the web soon
Brochures and booklets will be distributed to tourist companies describing the new rules.
All the new information will be available on the DNRD website from Saturday onwards. Typing centres will get new forms and new fees online from July 28 midnight.
Those who apply before July 29, will go through the old system and the fees and the way of applying will not change for them, Al Hammadi said.