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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - IMMIGRATION

First travellers use UK visa waiver

Posted on 02/01/2014

1st January saw the first travellers to visit the UK using the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW). This allows visits to the UK for up to six months without a visa. So far, over 300 visa waiver applicants including 170 Emirati, 107 Qatari and 102 Omani passport holders have completed an EVW, with the number expected to increase during the coming months. UK border force officials have been working through the night at local airports to assist airlines and travellers using the scheme. Matt Heath, ...  >>MORE

UAE residents’ new payment option for visa at Oman border

Posted on 28/12/2013

Travel between Oman and the UAE has been made a little easier, as financial transactions at the border can now be made with a Visa credit card. Royal Oman Police (ROP) has recently introduced credit card payment in all its offices and this includes the border posts, confirmed an ROP source. Travellers now have the option to pay in cash or with a credit card for their visa, which is priced Dh200 for general visitors and Dh50 for UAE residents. The credit card payment option is available at ...  >>MORE

Another victory for UAE on way to Schengen visa-free status

Posted on 16/12/2013

The UAE was unanimously and unconditionally voted on the Schengen visa-free list by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Friday, said a senior official on Sunday. "The UAE has achieved another victory towards realising a Schengen visa waiver, which will allow Emiratis visa-free travel to any of all 28 Schengen states,” Sulaiman Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the European Union, told Gulf News. Al Mazroui said the proposal to add the UAE to the Schengen visa-free ...  >>MORE

As of 1st January 2014, Emiratis will be able to travel to UK with Electronic Visa Waiver, says British Embassy

Posted on 10/12/2013

As of 1st January 2014, Emiratis will be able to travel to the United Kingdom with an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) document, which allows them to visit the country for up to six months without a visa, according to the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The introduction of the service allows Emiratis to apply for an EVW online and free of charge without having to go to a visa application centre or hand in passports prior to travel. All they have to do is complete their EVW online at least 48 hours ...  >>MORE

General Directorate of Customs - Abu Dhabi and US Customs and Border Protection sign cooperation agreement

Posted on 08/07/2013

Following its efforts to enhance security measures and to better secure trade and travel between the two countries, the Department of Finance's General Directorate of Customs - Abu Dhabi signed a cooperation agreement last week with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the latter's headquarters in Washington. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a training session organised by the General Directorate of Customs - Abu Dhabi and in collaboration with CBP in Washington. Saeed ...  >>MORE

Passport and Visa reminder initiative "Remember" to be launched in Abu Dhabi today

Posted on 06/05/2013

In a joint effort, The General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and the Directorate of Naturalisation (DNRAD) in Abu Dhabi will launch tomorrow the "Remember" initiative aimed at both nationals and residents as a reminder to verify expiration dates on passports and residencies to ensure a timely legal renewal, as well as preserve them as important official documents from damage or loss. A GDRFA official stated that this initiative, launched and applied in Abu Dhabi, ...  >>MORE

UAE citizens can enter Swaziland without a visa

Posted on 27/04/2013

No visa is required for UAE citizens traveling to the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. Ahmed Saeed Al Dhaheri, Director of Consular Services at the Ministry, said they had received a visa waiver note from the embassy of Swaziland in the UAE. ...  >>MORE

Greece supports visa-waiver for UAE nationals

Posted on 18/03/2013

Greece has repeatedly and strongly supported and championed for exempting the UAE nationals from the need to obtain a Schengen Visa, the embassy of Greece said in a statement yesterday. "Greece is committed to continue playing a protagonistic role in this matter, until a positive outcome is reached and a Schengen visa-free regime for UAE citizens is in place," it added. In this regard, the Foreign Minister of Greece Dimitris Avramopoulos sent a letter to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs ...  >>MORE

Spain: Schengen exemption for UAE nationals could lead to a boom in tourist activity

Posted on 01/03/2013

As Germany reaffirms its deep relations with the UAE, lately embodied in the decision to exempt all UAE nationals from the Schengen visa, Spain follows suite in what could be a diplomatic success for the state thanks to the efforts of UAE foreign ministry under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister. A successful and vital diplomacy is dedicated to reinforce the UAEs interests abroad, employing its position and location, thus staying true to the mission of ...  >>MORE

Spain in favour of UAE visa waiver

Posted on 27/02/2013

Following Spain's initial and unambiguous support to lifting visas to UAE nationals, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, has publicly supported this initiative by sending a letter to Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, recommending that the UAE is included in Annex II of Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external ...  >>MORE

UAE intensifies efforts to exempt citizens of visa requirement to Schengen countries

Posted on 24/02/2013

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the UAE is making intensive diplomatic efforts with the European Union to exempt citizens of the state of the Schengen visa. The UAE has been working on this issue with the European Union for over a year, now. "The UAE wishes to express its appreciation over the fact that its request to be included among the countries whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen ...  >>MORE

UAE appreciates Germany's move at EC to exempt its citizens from Schengen-visa

Posted on 22/02/2013

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement concerning the initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany for exempting the UAE citizens from the Schengen visa. HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, expressed his appreciation to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, especially to the Federal Foreign Minister, H.E. Guido Westerwelle, and H.E. the Federal Minister of Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich, for the ...  >>MORE

Ministry of Interior educates bus commuters in Abu Dhabi on residency law violators

Posted on 03/02/2013

In collaboration with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), the Ministry of Interior placed its campaign slogan ‘No to Violators' in ten different languages on a total of 25 buses, which runs on the streets of the capital, Al Ain and the Western Region. The gesture reflects the ministry's keenness to interact with community members and harness all public resources such as public transport buses to communicate with various segments of society and encourage them to help report ...  >>MORE

Travel bans can be cleared at Abu Dhabi airport

Posted on 14/01/2013

Prospective travellers flying through Abu Dhabi who discover they are on a travel ban list due to unpaid fines will soon be able to still catch their flights. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced the setting up of an ‘Injaz' centre at the Capital's airport, so people banned from leaving the country on the basis of court orders can pay off their fines. Currently those who only discover their travel ban while at the airport are turned back and must go through a long-winded court ...  >>MORE

Nearly 10,000 illegal stayers left the UAE, availing two-month amnesty

Posted on 06/01/2013

Up to 2nd January 2013, 9,453 out of 20,391 over-staying applicants from 106 countries have departed the country since the two-month grace period announced on 4 December 2012, a top Ministry of Interior (MoI) officer disclosed yesterday. Dr. Abdullah bin Sahou, Director General of Residency and Foreign Affairs' Department in Sharjah and head of the amnesty media committee, appealed to violators of the federal law on entry and residence of foreigners to report to the nearest centre to process ...  >>MORE

New services to ease visa applications by the GDRFA

Posted on 03/01/2013

In a bid to ease visa related issues for companies, the residency department has opened its external offices in Dubai for companies, which was previously restricted to individuals only. External counters of the residency department will start receiving applications from companies starting from Wednesday, according to top officials. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) said on Monday that some of the external offices ...  >>MORE

DP World welcomes UAE multiple entry visit visa as a positive move for cuise tourism

Posted on 10/11/2012

DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem on Thursday welcomed the introduction of multiple entry UAE visit visas, saying it will enhance the growth of cruise tourism at Mina Rashid in Dubai and support the country's long-term strategy to stimulate growth and development in the traditionally strong tourism sector. The UAE government issued ministerial decree No. 418 of 2012 yesterday allowing multiple entry visit visas to the UAE for the first time. Those eligible for the multiple entry visas ...  >>MORE

Dubai visa services now on smartphones

Posted on 15/10/2012

The General Directorate for Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has launched a new Smartphone application that allows residents to make queries on visa issues. The free app will allow users to apply for visa renewals, access M-Visa services, and elicit answers for their queries on general visa issues. The GDRFA introduced its new e-service during the 32nd edition of Gitex Technology Week which kicked off yesterday. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director general of ...  >>MORE

New 24-hour visa hotline set up for residents

Posted on 04/10/2012

The Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday a new 24-hour hotline for visa and naturalisation issues. Announcing the service, it was revealed that residents across the UAE can call the Dubai based centre for an answer to queries on a new free number. The communication and media hub will open at the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai. It will allow members of the public from all over the country to contact the centre to enquire about visa and naturalisation ...  >>MORE

UAE, Chile sign reciprocal visa waiver MOU

Posted on 24/09/2012

New York: The Governments of the of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Chile have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the exemption of entry visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports on reciprocal basis. The MOU was signed yesterday in New York by UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Chile's Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Moreno Charme. The MOU takes into account the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ...  >>MORE

No ban on granting visit visa for low-income labours: MoI

Posted on 20/09/2012

A top Ministry of Interior official has denied press reports on a ban of tourist visa for unskilled jobs. Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency, and Ports Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, said departments of naturalisation and residency across the country were processing visit visa transactions for would-be applicants in consistence with standard procedures. He lashed out at some media outlets which published these untrue news ...  >>MORE

Kyrgyzstan exempts Emiratis from entry visa

Posted on 29/08/2012

Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday announced that it had exempted the nationals of the UAE from entry visa for up to 60-day stay on its territory. Director of Consular Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ahmed Salim Elham Al-Dhaheri said a note sent to the Ministry by the Kyrgyz Embassy in Riyadh announced that the nationals of the UAE were added to the list of 44 countries whose nationals are exempt from visa requirements to enter Kyrgyzstan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

'No to Violators'; MOI launches new drive to combat illegal residence

Posted on 23/07/2012

A nation-wide drive to create awareness against the practice of illegal immigration into the country got underway yesterday in the capital under the slogan' No To Violators'. The campaign aims to encourage every citizen and legal resident in the country to combat the phenomenon of alien infiltration into the UAE by helping the authorities to track them. The Directorate to follow-up violations and foreigners affairs set up by the Ministry of Interior will implement the drive to educate people ...  >>MORE

Albania exempts UAE citizens from visa entry for specific period

Posted on 09/06/2012

Republic of Albania has exempted the UAE citizens from entry visa requirements with effect from May 25 to Sept. 25. Ambassador Ahmed Saeed Al Dhahiri, Director of the Department of Consular Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ministry has received a memo from the Albania's Embassy here stating the exemption of the UAE citizens from the entry visa requirements within the above mentioned period. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

Rules change for residency renewal in Abu Dhabi, official says

Posted on 07/06/2012

Residents of Abu Dhabi who wish to renew their residency permits are obliged to submit a valid tenancy agreement in addition to their recent residency's utility bill. The resident should also list the landline phone number of his or her residence at the time of application. The new rule was issued by the General Department of Naturalisation and Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi and it covers all the applicants for renewal of residency permits in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as of June 1, 2012, ...  >>MORE

New Smart e-Gate ‘will speed passenger flow

Posted on 28/05/2012

The new Smart e-Gate system, installed across all Dubai International's immigration entry and exit points is easy to use, fast and efficient, according to a senior official from Dubai residency department. Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, Director-General of the e-Services sector at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, told Gulf News yesterday the Smart e-gate is a new technology that allows a faster and more convenient movement of the growing number ...  >>MORE

Cruise tourists to get multiple entry visa

Posted on 28/05/2012

The plan for a multiple entry UAE visa for cruise-ship passengers is expected to be in place by September, according to an official at the Dubai Tourism Department. Currently, the visa process involves fees as well as paper work for tourists who don't get visas upon arrival to the UAE. The multiple entry visas will help in removing such obstacles and will create a wider tourist market from places such as Russia, China, India, South Africa and Brazil, said Hamad bin Mejren of the Dubai's ...  >>MORE

UAE launches e-visa system for visitors in Argentina

Posted on 24/05/2012

Buenos Aires - The UAE has launched an electronic visa system in Argentina to facilitate issuance of entry permits to the UAE. UAE Ambassador to Argentina Mohammed Isa Al Za'abi said as he launched the e-service that the system is more accurate and advanced and has high technological and security features. 'The new e-visa system is in line with sound directives and wise policy of UAE leadership for serving national interest,' he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

UAE ambassador launches e-system for issuing visas

Posted on 01/05/2012

Rabat - Al Asri Saeed Al Dhaheri, UAE ambassador to Morocco has launched a new system for issuance of visas which is a printing program for electronic-visa sticker with highly and accurate standards. Al Asri signed the first issuance of electronic-visa sticker and stressed that the new system comes in line with Ministry of Foreign Affairs' strategy to promote consular services and adopting the most advanced technology. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

E-gates at UAE road borders planned

Posted on 11/10/2011

Emigration clearance through various land borders of the UAE will be made easy with the help of a new state-of-the-art electronic gate system being implemented by the Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs . Aabar system, a copy of the e-gate facility that allows easy entry and exit through the Dubai airports, will help Aabar card holders to get emigration, sitting inside their vehicles. Speaking to 'Emirates24|7', Captain Khalid A bin Mediya Al Falasi, Director of IT Project ...  >>MORE

Visa change for homebuyers to spark UAE housing market recovery

Posted on 29/06/2011

The Government's move yesterday to extend visas for homebuyers is expected to provide a much-needed spark to the struggling property market. The unavailability of long-term visas has been one of the key issues restricting home sales, property executives say. Under the new law property buyers will be able to obtain a visa for three years instead of the current six months. "This is welcome news," said Richard Paul, an associate director of Cluttons, a global property company. "It's been ...  >>MORE

UAE residence visa validity reduced to two years

Posted on 09/12/2010

According to a new rule, the validity of UAE residential visa and labour card has now been reduced to two years. This new rule for all workers and employees in the private sector will be applicable from January 2011. In a statement by Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Labour it was made clear that the UAE Cabinet has reduced the validity of labour cards of all categories of people who work in private sector from three years to two years in a bid to regulate the ...  >>MORE

Residents, visitors to UAE have photographs taken on entry

Posted on 19/10/2010

Residents and visitors to the country are having their photos taken at ports of entry in a measure aimed at boosting security, said a senior Ministry of Interior official. Brigadier Obaid Muhair Bin Surour said the photographs are being taken "in a non-intrusive manner" as part of security and safety arrangements. "This photograph system started two months ago and their photographs are being taken while they are passing through," he said. Brig. Bin Surour said this will help reduce the ...  >>MORE

No new fees on GCC citizens for passing through UAE border crossings: MoI

Posted on 15/06/2010

GCC citizens will have no new fees to pay while crossing into the UAE via its land crossing points, the Ministry of Interior announced yesterday. Major General Nasser bin Al Awadhi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Exits Affairs, expressed his astonishment at what an Arab Satellite channel has reported in its website about complaints from Omani land travellers on imposition of fees while passing through UAE's border ...  >>MORE

Women to get UAE visa rule boost

Posted on 12/04/2010

The Ministry of Labour plans to relax transfer of workers between companies to lessen dependency on foreign recruitment, a top official said on Sunday. "A draft decision was submitted to the Cabinet to reduce fees for transfer of workers between companies to increase the productivity of the local work-force and thus reduce our dependency on foreign recruitment," Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, told Gulf News. Ghobash said a study of the current fees for certain measures ...  >>MORE

Visitor visas valid only for single entry to UAE, Ministry says

Posted on 17/01/2010

Visas for visit, transit and tourism are valid only for a single entry into the UAE, said a senior official at the Ministry of Interior, adding that visitors cannot return using the same permit even after a trip to a neighbouring country. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of the Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, told Gulf News: "A visitor needs to get a new entry permit to re-enter the country once he or she leaves the country for any ...  >>MORE

Residence visa seekers to be fingerprinted

Posted on 23/07/2009

Residency departments across the country will manage a fingerprint identification system and database for all residents in the country, a senior official said on Wednesday. "Starting next month, applicants for residence visa will be fingerprinted under a tighter biometric system to provide more secure identification and prevent fraud," Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department told Gulf News. He said fresh ...  >>MORE

UAE visa seekers will have to pass cultural test, report

Posted on 08/07/2009

Expatriates applying for residency visa in future will be tested in their knowledge of local culture. The resolve follows the Federal National Council calling for immigrants to have better understanding of UAE values and traditions, reports Khaleej Times. Quoting Ahmed Shabeeb Al Dhahiri, First Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council, the paper said a committee would be established by October to develop strategies to improve understanding of the country among expatriates. The Council ...  >>MORE

Officials discuss visa regulations

Posted on 18/06/2009

Acting Director-General of the Naturalisation and Residency Department Brigadier Nasser Al Awadhi Al Manhali yesterday met with directors of naturalisation and residency departments. They discussed the ministerial decision on property owners and actual results so far. They also discussed ways to overcome implementation obstacles. The directors praised the decision, which regulates the issue of residency visas for property owners. They discussed regulations on entry permits for tourists as ...  >>MORE

Holders of UAE diplomatic, special passports exempted from visa to Luxembourg

Posted on 16/06/2009

UAE citizens who hold diplomatic and special passports will no longer need to apply in advance for visas to enter the Duchy of Luxembourg. The exemption follows a decision to task the Foreign Ministry with forming a commission to sign Memorandums of Understanding on reciprocal visa exemptions with other countries to facilitate the movement of UAE citizens. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

Multiple-entry visas for property owners to start from June

Posted on 05/05/2009

The General Directorate of Naturalisation and Residency will start the implementation of the new rule for issuing multiple entry visas for property owners starting from next month. A new ordinance issued by Interior Minister Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan last Saturday had given the right for the owners of property and residential units to enter the country on a multiple entry visa and stay up to a maximum of six months before exiting. As per the rule, the multi-entry permit ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

First travellers use UK visa waiver


UAE residents’ new payment option for visa at Oman border


Another victory for UAE on way to Schengen visa-free status


As of 1st January 2014, Emiratis will be able to travel to UK with Electronic Visa Waiver, says British Embassy


General Directorate of Customs - Abu Dhabi and US Customs and Border Protection sign cooperation agreement


Passport and Visa reminder initiative "Remember" to be launched in Abu Dhabi today


UAE citizens can enter Swaziland without a visa


Greece supports visa-waiver for UAE nationals


Spain: Schengen exemption for UAE nationals could lead to a boom in tourist activity


Spain in favour of UAE visa waiver


UAE intensifies efforts to exempt citizens of visa requirement to Schengen countries


UAE appreciates Germany's move at EC to exempt its citizens from Schengen-visa


Ministry of Interior educates bus commuters in Abu Dhabi on residency law violators


Travel bans can be cleared at Abu Dhabi airport


Nearly 10,000 illegal stayers left the UAE, availing two-month amnesty


New services to ease visa applications by the GDRFA


DP World welcomes UAE multiple entry visit visa as a positive move for cuise tourism


Dubai visa services now on smartphones


New 24-hour visa hotline set up for residents


UAE, Chile sign reciprocal visa waiver MOU


No ban on granting visit visa for low-income labours: MoI


Kyrgyzstan exempts Emiratis from entry visa


'No to Violators'; MOI launches new drive to combat illegal residence


Albania exempts UAE citizens from visa entry for specific period


Rules change for residency renewal in Abu Dhabi, official says


New Smart e-Gate ‘will speed passenger flow


Cruise tourists to get multiple entry visa


UAE launches e-visa system for visitors in Argentina


UAE ambassador launches e-system for issuing visas


E-gates at UAE road borders planned


Visa change for homebuyers to spark UAE housing market recovery


UAE residence visa validity reduced to two years


Residents, visitors to UAE have photographs taken on entry


No new fees on GCC citizens for passing through UAE border crossings: MoI


Women to get UAE visa rule boost


Visitor visas valid only for single entry to UAE, Ministry says


Residence visa seekers to be fingerprinted


UAE visa seekers will have to pass cultural test, report


Officials discuss visa regulations


Holders of UAE diplomatic, special passports exempted from visa to Luxembourg


Multiple-entry visas for property owners to start from June