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Visit visa fee hike to prevent fraud

posted on 17/06/2002: 1072 views

Expatriates applying for visit visas must now pay an additional Dh100 as fee for the attestation of work contracts by the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD). The DNRD started implementing the new rule yesterday for urgent and normal visit visas for friends or relatives, according to sources in the department. A spokesman for the department told Gulf News yesterday that only individuals applying for visit visas need to have their work contracts attested at the department.

According to the law governing the Interior Ministry, any department can issue rules according to the interior needs of the department, he added. "Anyone who applies for an urgent visit visa should pay Dh200 and must have his work contract attested at the department paying Dh100 as fees. Applicants must pay Dh100 for normal visit visa and another Dh100 for the work contract attestation," he said. Earlier, a photocopy of the work contract, and the original, of the person applying for visit visa were needed. Now the rules has changed and the work contract must be attested by the DNRD.

He said: "The expatriate should earn a salary that meets the criteria laid down by the Cabinet and should have worked in the country for a long period." He did not specify the period that qualifies the applicant for a visa. "If the department approves the grounds for seeking a visa, it will issue a visa," he confirmed.

In May, the Immigration and Residency Department at the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi imposed the Dh2,000 visit visa bond to curb people from coming for extended periods to look for jobs. The ministry supervises the immigration and naturalisation departments in the seven emirates. In theory, once a visitor leaves and proof is presented of his or her exit, the money can be refunded.

Visas are routinely issued to any nationality as long as they are not on a blacklist or have a previous criminal record. This deposit is to ensure that the visitors will leave the country when their visit visa entry permit expires and they are not staying illegally in the country. But Dubai Immigration officials did not enforce the controversial Dh2,000 bond for people arriving on visit visas.

The Ministry of Interior and the DNRD found that they will be burdening people who want to bring their families, so they agreed not to enforce the new rule. The DNRD, which is a major issuer of visit visas in the UAE, does not want to disturb the current system so they did not apply the Dh2,000 visa bond. The Naturalisation and Residency Department is now trying to create a system to penalise sponsors, and will arrest those who overstay in the country. (The Gulf News)


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