Courts enforce rule requiring residence visas for marriage

Sharjah: Federal Courts are growing strict with expatriates who wish to marry here. Sharia courts are now turning down applicants if one partner does not have a UAE residence visa.

Sources from the courts said it was just a regulatory issue concerning the marriage of expatriates here which aimed at controlling abuses of the federal residency law. According to the regulation which was enforced strictly in recent months, women or men on visit visas cannot tie the knot in the UAE, judicial officials told.

Lawyer Abdul Munaim Bin Swaidan told that the regulations are there to control expatriates' entry into the country and that the marriage contract will not be used to obtain a residence visa here.

"This is federal rules and regulations in order to control abuses of the residency law in the UAE ...," said the lawyer. A senior official from the Ministry of Justice said women who are on visit or tourist visas cannot marry in the UAE and the same applies to men.

New rule: Check on illegal means

Lawyer Abdul Munaim Bin Swaidan said people can go back to their home country and marry over there and then bring their wives here.

"Or they can send power of attorney to any of their relatives back home to finalise the marriage ... on their behalf," he said. He said some people bring women on visit visas claiming that they will marry them. "They issue them residence visas as a cover for some illegal practices," he said.