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Business visa rules to be revamped

posted on 08/11/2003: 1043 views

Businessmen and self-employed craftsmen who do not employ staff will obtain their residence visa directly from the Naturalisation and Residency departments. However, craftsmen owning businesses employing up to five workers will continue to get their permit from the Ministry of Labour.

Matar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs said the ministry will soon issue a decision to organise the issuing of visas for business people who fall under this description. "The decision will allow a manager-cum-partner to get a labour card and a residence visa. Other partners may only have a businessman's status." Al Tayer was speaking after a meeting of the Higher Labour Committee which also discussed increasing the minimum number of group permits for workers from 25 to 50.

Labour officials also approved the idea that these permits should be passed by the Labour Permit Committee without the need for a signature from the ministry's undersecretary. Under the move, people in charge of businesses of any size who are working with a UAE national partner, will no longer have to obtain a labour card from the Labour Ministry. Once a businessman obtains a licence from the Economic Department and gets the residence visa stamped on his passport, he or she can start business immediately.

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce from now on will issue trade licences to businessmen and residency departments will stamp their resident's visa. Officials from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior define an 'investor' as a person who operates a business whether in partnership with at least one UAE national, or full ownership with a service agent.

Al Tayer said the ministry will only deal with permits for workers, manager-cum-partners and craftsmen who employ up to five workers. Officials believe that the new measures would help curb fraud in visas or labour permits. "All the naturalisation and residency departments have now started working with the new rules," immigration officials said. (The Gulf News)


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