No Exemptions for New Visa Procedures

Applicants must submit only original documents for scanning at typing centres

Dubai: From November 15, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs will not exempt anyone from new visa transaction requirements, officials said on Tuesday.

Last month, the GDRFA introduced new procedures for visa transactions, which are applicable to all UAE, GCC nationals, expatriates and residents of Dubai. All visa transactions are now required to go through a new system called ‘Vision.’

Photocopied documents will no longer be accepted for any applications at the GDRFA. The move stipulates that all GDRFA customers are required to submit original copies of the documents for scanning at the typing centres. Sponsors are also required to submit their IBAN numbers. All charges, including deposits, guarantees and file opening fees, will now be processed through the typing centres at the time of application.

“Although the rule is already in effect, we are still lenient in enforcing it in certain situations,” a GDRFA official said. “However, from November 15 onwards only original documents will be accepted for GDRFA transactions.”

While the new system is aimed at streamlining visa processes and procedures, it also helps in reducing the use of paper and the waiting time for customers at the GDRFA, as customers will be required to visit the immigration only after the approval of their online visa applications.

According to a typing centre employee, the rule is already being enforced for those opening new applications. “Although we are now in what you’d call a grace period, we are gradually implementing the rule until it becomes a mandate on November 15. All new applicants are required to submit original documents for scanning. As of now, we are still granting exceptions to some ongoing applications, or those who already submitted their papers.”

Applicants, whether GCC nationals or expatriates, are advised to carry the following documents when visiting the typing centres for visa applications: sponsor’s original passport and Emirates ID, original passport and Emirates ID of those being sponsored (for family residency visas, stamping and renewal), clear coloured copy of the sponsored persons (for permits for residence, employment and visit visas), coloured photographs of the sponsored persons with a white background, labour contract, labour card, salary letter for those employed in private sector, free zone, government, trade licence if the sponsor is a partner or investor, original tenancy contract, attested birth and marriage certificates if applicable, and IBAN number of the sponsor.

The new conditions are applicable to all GDRFA branches and typing centres across the emirate.

Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA, earlier said the new rule will help the GDRFA continue to better its services.

“We are constantly endeavouring to develop our services and keep our customer satisfaction rate high,” he said. “The GDRFA is striving to ensure homeland security by adopting the highest technological standards on all levels and in improving the ability of our officers to work quickly and more efficiently.”

He added that though the new rule is already in place, those who are already in the midst of carrying out transactions with the GDRFA may be exempted (depending on their situation).

“From November 15, we will not exempt anyone from the rule,” Maj Gen Al Merri said. “Everyone is required to give in their original documents at all branches of the GDRFA and typing centres.”



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