posted on 11/03/2002: 1675 views
Dubai residents are allowed to sponsor their friends on visit visa if the latter are above the age of 30 years, Colonel Saeed Mattar bin Bleilah, Director of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), yesterday told Khaleej Times.
Clarifying a confusion over sponsoring visit visas for friends during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2002, Col. Bin Bleilah said that the department would not reject any visa application without valid reasons. "When we announced that the department would allow residents to sponsor their relatives and friends on visit visa during the festival if they earned a minimum salary of Dh5,000, many people got the impression that the process was without any limit or control."
"In fact the minimum salary required is above Dh7,000, but as a facility we reduced it to a minimum of Dh5,000 to allow as many families as possible to visit the emirate during the festival," Col. Bin Bleilah said. The facility, he added, was meant to encourage residents to sponsor their close relatives, but applications for visa for distant relatives started pouring in.
As for friends, he said, the authorities took into consideration the age of the visitor. "We understand that many people might use the relaxation to come and look for jobs. Frankly we do not want to encourage that, because the purpose of facilitating the process of issuing visa is to promote the DSF theme 'One World, One Family'. We have no problems if a resident sponsors as many members of his direct family - wife, children, parents, sisters, brothers and their wives and children - as he wishes," Col. bin Bleilah said.
But, he added, friends sponsored by residents should not be aged between 20 and 30 years. Any friend above that age, man or woman, will be given a visit visa to come and enjoy the festival. "We have instructions from the higher authorities not to impose any restrictions on sponsoring women visitors," the Director of DNRD said. However, he said that the department would not issue visas to those under the age of 21 without questioning the applicant on the purpose of the visit.
"If we are convinced about the reason and the parents of the minors do not object to his or her visit we will grant the visa," Col. Bin Bleilah said. He denied that the department required a minimum salary of Dh10,000 for sponsoring a friend. "People who face problems in applying for visa can send their enquiries to the Touristic Affairs Office web site," Col. Bin Bleilah said.
The email address dedicated to enquiries about visa is Dnrd1@emirates.net.ae. For enquiries about residence visas the address is Dnrd2@emirates.net.ae and for enquiries concerning investigation and follow-up section it is Dnrd3@emirates.net.ae. People who have enquiries can also address them to the coordinator Mohammed Ismael Al Amadi at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Al Amadi said that he received around 60 enquiries daily from within the UAE and abroad and he answered them all on the same day. Most of them are about the requirements for visit visas. "My work starts at 5.30am and continues till 2.30pm, during which period I compile the enquiries and send the replies by e-mail or by phone if the inquirer leaves his telephone number." (The Khaleej Times)
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