Monday, July 28, 2008

Visit visas to be issued in 10-15 minutes

Visit visas to be issued in 10-15 minutes
By Ahmed Abdul Aziz & Mary Nammour 28 July 2008 KHALEEJ TIMES

ABU DHABI - From tomorrow, applicants approaching the naturalisation and residency departments countrywide with the required documents could get visit visas within 10 to 15 minutes without any extra fees, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Interior (MoI).

Brigadier Nasir Al Awadi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department (FNRD) in the MoI, told reporters in the capital yesterday that the documents required include passport copies, photographs of the visitor and the data of the visitor including his/her address in his/her home country.

The health insurance certificate of the visitor will have to be submitted after the approval of the application.

“The cabinet resolution has created 16 types of visas, including visas for medical treatment and education, with the aim of stamping out illegal residency,” Brig Al Minhali said.

He predicted that by next December, the UAE will be free of illegal residents.

According to Brigadier Obeid bin Suroor, Deputy Director of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Departmen (DNRD), the new visa rule aims at streamlining the process. "The rule aims to provide better service to people rather than imposing a burden on them. It was the outcome of a thorough study by the authorities concerned.”

The NRDs across the country will distribute the application forms for the new visas to the typing offices during the coming hours.

There will be no change in the procedures. However, the sponsors and public relation officers (PROs) of firms have to provide the home country addresses of the persons who will enter the country.

Applying online for visas is currently a service provided to only companies and typing offices. However, the MoI is examining the viability of extending the service to the public.

“We are studying the ways by which our applicants across the country could enjoy more facilities and save their time and efforts. We have contracted a leading IT company for preparing online applications for individuals as well,” said Brig Al Minhali.

Under the new visas rule, the applicant must provide the health insurance certificate to the NRD as a major document for all types of visas, including tourist visas.

Colonel Rashid Sultan Al Khider, Director of the Legal Department in the MoI, said that the applicants have to pay a refundable guarantee of Dh1,000. This guarantee should be paid to cover all types of visit visas, including tourist visas.

Brig Al Minhali said the MoI is surveying the nationalities and communities and more nationalities could be included in the list of 34 countries, whose citizens do not need to pay the guarantee deposit of Dh1,000, in case their communities comply with the NRD instructions. "The change is possible", said Brig Al Minhali.

Orientation for typing staff

Typists who were briefed by NRD officials in various emirates yesterday said they now understand their tasks and are ready to implement the new visa rule

Representatives of over 200 typing offices from Dubai attended the gathering held at the DNRD headquarters in Jaffliya. They were briefed on the guidelines to follow under the new visa rule once it comes into effect.

Habib from Shad Typing Office said he was not worried about the new system. “It will not be that different. They have only changed the fees and introduced new types of visas. We will get used to it with time,” he said.

Abdulghaffar from Al Musalla Star Typing Office in Dubai said that he was not yet sure what kind of problems they might be facing with the inception of the new system.

Sameh from Eden Star for Documents Clearance in Dubai underscored the need for typists to be very careful when typing the information of the applicants. “The new rule will have zero tolerance regarding any misleading information, however, irrelevant it may look like. So we have to be very vigilant,” he said.

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