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Mandatory sit-out period likely after visa expires

posted on 12/05/2004: 1026 views

The UAE is planning a total revamp of entry policy including rules of visit, transit and tourist visas. The proposed regulations are aimed at curbing illegal practices including staying and working in the country without the necessary paperwork. The main feature of the proposed regulations is the introduction of a ban period after the expiry of the visit or tourist visa. The legal amendments will be issued within three months according to a senior source at the UAE Naturalisation and Residency Department.

A source from the Ministry of Interior said the misuse of visit and tourist visas has grown in the past few years and the new regulations are aimed at stopping the abuse of such services. The official said that the different visas will be in colour code to highlight the type of visa given and subsequently the duration of any ban against entering the country. He said that each visa will appear different with a distinctive colour. It will also carry essential details such as the period of stay, whether it can be renewed and whether the holder will be permitted straight back into the country.

"At the moment, people who are on a visit visa can stay in the country for 60 days. It can be extended for an additional 30 days (which makes a total of 90 days) paying Dh500 and then leave the country for some time. They can then obtain another visit visa. This is what will change with the new visas.

The authorities will impose a one-month ban on anyone hoping to enter the country again. He noted that the tourist visa is only valid for one month and cannot be renewed. One can obtain another visit visa after leaving the country for three months. Currently, some visitors on expiry of their visas are extending their stay in the country by obtaining new visit visas by departing and re-entering.

The ministry source said that the ministry recently said that those who have a visit visa and obtain a work permit can pay Dh500 while changing the visa if they do not want to leave the country and re-enter again. But it remains the choice of the visa holder as to whether they stay and change their visa or leave.

"We are not planning to discourage tourism. This is meant to enhance tourism and we will distinguish between the tourist and those who are visiting companies or relatives," the source added. The new rules, however, will not affect the regulations governing multiple-entry and transit visas.

How the new rules affect them

Visit visa: This is valid for entry within two months from its date of issue. It requires the sponsorship of any UAE resident or any company or hotel licensed to operate within the UAE.

The visit visa is valid for 60 days and is renewable for a total stay of up to 90 days. A fee of Dh500 is charged for renewal. One should leave the country in order to obtain a new visit visa and with the coming new rules holders are banned from re-entering for one month.

Tourist visa: It entitles the holder to a 30-day stay and is non-renewable. And with the new rules one should leave the country for three months in order to obtain another tourist visa.

The tourist visa requires the sponsorship of hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors from the above listed countries.

Tourist visas can be obtained on arrival for individual tourists from: Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Swaziland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Paraguay, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Canada, US, Australia and New Zealand.

* Entry Service Permit which is valid for use within 14 days from the date of issue. It is non-renewable. It applies to businessmen and tourists. It requires the sponsorship of companies or hotels licensed to operate within the UAE.

Multiple-entry visa: These visas are given to business visitors who have a relationship with either a multinational or other reputable local establishment, and who are frequent visitors to the UAE. This type of visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days.

The validity is non-renewable. The cost of this visa is Dh1,000. The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visas while in the country. The visa would be stamped on the passport.

Transit visas: This applies to passengers passing through the UAE airports. They can obtain a visa for up to 96 hours. There is no fee for this visa, which can be sponsored by any airline operating in the UAE. The new rules do not affect multiple-entry and transit visas. (The Gulf News)


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