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Online visas for individuals planned

posted on 06/06/2003: 930 views

The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) has been processing 300 visas online daily. More than 500,000 transactions have been conducted online since the DNRD introduced the service some years ago. Colonel Ali Mohammed Bujsaim, Assistant Director, told Gulf News yesterday that there has been a sharp increase in the number of users following the launch of e-government. The average number of online transactions has been increasing every year.

The department will soon offer the online service to individuals who will be able to apply for visas through the Internet. The new programme, which will offer users privacy, is in its final stage and will be implemented soon. Moreover, all types of visas will be available online soon. Payment will be through the Internet from customers who will have an account.

At present, the service is offered to companies who apply for visas through the Internet and pay by e-card. More than 50 companies and 70 airlines from all over the world are using the online service. Airlines find the service extremely useful, particularly in obtaining visit visas for tourists. This has helped increase the number of tourists coming to the country. While the online service is for the private and public sector, the e-form is also offered to the public. "But most companies still insist on using the e-form."

Elaborating on the e-form service, Col Bujsaim said it is a transaction that can be obtained from the website. The form can be typed out and then mailed to the department. Payment is done by credit card. In the first two years, the online services were merely being used as a test run. In its third year, its scope has been widened to all companies and soon it will be available to everyone. Over the last two years, 600,000 e-form transactions have been carried out.

The e-form is not going to be done away with he stressed, but the public will soon have the online service as a better alternative. This will reduce pressure on the department's sections and ease officers' work. Future plans include making the online service available round-the-clock.

Col. Bujsaim added that the department always witnesses a large number of applicants who visit the department to apply for various visas. "Though we are now in summer, still visitors are coming to Dubai from all over the world. We are issuing the same number of visit visas and residence visas." The department is being renovated and one new hall is ready. Three others will be ready by the end of this year. This will regulate work and ease pressure. (The Gulf News)


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