Aug 25, 2011

Emirates ID must for Abu Dhabi Visa

Abu Dhabi: All expatriates in Abu Dhabi who apply for a new residence visa or its renewal from mid-September have to first apply for a national ID card.

Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has already linked the visa medical tests at several Preventive Medicine Centres (PMCs) with the registration of national ID cards.

The remaining PMC's in the emirate will also be linked with the ID card registration process by mid-September, a top official told yesterday.

Expatriates must first apply for the ID card and show its receipt to undergo the medical tests as part of the visa application process, said Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID.

The official explained that an expatriate has to first complete the pre-registration process — filling out the form, paying the fee and making an appointment for registration — at a certified typing centre before the visa medical test.

Emirates ID has already linked the visa medical tests with ID card registration in Preventive Medicine Centres in Madinat Zayed, Sila, Delma and Ghaythi in the Western Region and Mussaffah in the emirate.

When the remaining PMCs in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi city are linked with the ID registration next month, the entire emirate will come under the new process.

Strategy

Abu Dhabi will be the fifth emirate to link the visa processing and ID card registration after Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah as part of Emirates ID's 2010-2013 strategy to enrol all expatriates in the country by the end of 2013.

The Preventive Medicine Centres in free zones in Dubai and Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid in Sharjah have also linked the visa medical tests with the ID registration.

The authority has already announced that all remaining PMCs across the country will be linked by the end of the year.

Two new ID card registration centres will be opened in Abu Dhabi soon, Dr Ali Al Khoury told Gulf News.

A new registration centre at the Preventive Medicine Centre at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city will be opened very soon, he said.

Another centre in Al Baniyas on the edge of the city will also be opened by the end of this year, Al Khoury added.

Plan on fines not yet ready


The official said the plan to implement a federal government decree authorising the authority to impose a fine on residents who fail to register for ID cards has not been completed yet. "We are looking into the issue and will announce the plan soon,"Dr. Ali Al Khoury said.

A federal government decree has authorised the authority to impose up to Dh 1000 fine (Dh 20 each day) on those who fail to apply for ID card or renew it. But the authority has not disclosed what category of people will face the fine.

New registration centres in Abu Dhabi

Two new ID card registration centres will be opened in Abu Dhabi soon, Dr. Ali Al Khoury said.

A new registration centre at Preventive Medicine Centre at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city will be opened very soon, he said.

Another centre in Al Baniyas on the skirts of the city will be opened by the end of this year, Al Khoury said.

Aug 24, 2011

Citizens of 34 nations exempt from UAE visit visa waiting period

Dubai: Citizens of 34 countries do not have to wait one month before applying for a visit visa after leaving the UAE, a senior Interior Ministry official said.

Currently visitors who leave the UAE even after a day's stay have to wait for a month before they can apply for a visit visa again.

"Citizens of nations who need to obtain an entry permit into the country through any one of the residency departments will not be able to apply for another visa immediately after they leave the country," Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

Law

"Even if they stay here for two days and leave the country, they can come back after one month," he said. There is no multiple entry visit visa, Maj. Gen. Al Menhali stressed.

"If a visitor comes here, then goes on vacation to a nearby country and wants to come back, he should wait for one month before returning here," he said.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said these rules apply to people who need to apply for a visa prior entering the UAE.

"There are citizens of 34 countries who do not need a visa in advance. These citizens can get a visa upon arrival in the UAE," he said.

He said since the visa is issued upon arrival, these citizens can come back here any time they like.

"Citizens of these 34 countries need to show their passport to the immigration officer at any of the country's borders and they will have a new visa stamped. They can come and go as much as they want and at any time they want," he said.

Rules not new

"These rules are not new. But some people believe that they can come to the country and stay a couple of days and leave. They want to come back gain on the same visa believing that the visa has not expired yet, but they cannot. They have to wait for one month," he said.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said if a person stays for a day and leaves, the visa will be deemed expired even if the expiration date is later.

He said the one month waiting period is counted from the day the person leaves the country and not from the date of the visa expiration.

Multiple entry

Businessmen who need to enter and leave the country several times can apply for a multiple entry visa which is valid for six months, a senior Interior Ministry official said.

Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders, said once this multiple entry visa expires, businessmen have to wait for a month before applying for another visa.

This waiting period does not apply to citizens of 34 countries.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said the residency department deals with issuing visas on a case-by-case basis.

"We study each visa application and if it needs to be issued before the end of the one-month period, we can do it but it will depend on the circumstances of the visa applicant," the interior ministry official said.

The citizens of these 34 countries also do not have to wait a month before applying for a visit visa.

List of 34 countries

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Monaco
Netherlands (Holland)
New Zealand
Norway
Paraguay
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States
Vatican City

Reprieve for workers with six-month visa ban

Dubai: Expatriate workers who have received a six-month ban on leaving their jobs recently will be able to obtain new work permits, if they have completed two years with their former employers, a senior official from the Ministry of Labour said.

Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director-General at the Ministry, said these workers will be issued new work permits from January even if they have not served the full six-month ban.

“Following the implementation of the new rules by the Ministry of Labour, expatriate workers who have completed two years with their employers can change jobs without serving the ban,” Bin Deemas told Sharjah Radio.

He said sponsors cannot force employees to continue to work for them if the workers do not wish to do so. “If workers have quit before the completion of two years then they will not be issued labour cards until the two-year period is over,” Bin Deemas said.

The official said if a worker, who has cancelled his residence visa, returns to the UAE on a visit visa, he will not get a work permit before the expiry of the two-year period.

Bin Deemas said the relationship between a sponsor and a worker will end with the expiry of the labour card, which is limited to two years. “Skilled and unskilled workers who end their contracts legally will get a labour permit,” he said.