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UAE residence visa validity reduced to two years

(Staff Report) / 8 December 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 labour market.

The Cabinet's decision aims to merge the labour card validity for all work categories to be similar to that of drivers, domestic helpers and other similar categories who are given only two-year labour cards and residence visas by the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, while other professions currently get three-year labour cards and three-year residence visa.

Recently, Dubai Immigration launched the new electronic project, known as GDRFAD Mobile — General Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai.

Major General Mohammad Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the General Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said the information and data, to be available in Arabic and English, would be provided to individuals and companies through smart phones such as the Blackberry and iPhone.

“Applicants may avail the cell phone-based service anywhere and anytime to inquire about the status and expiry date of the entry and residence visas.”

The public can also get feed back on their e-form applications, transactions catalogue, as well as the department news and updates under the project. “The service may be downloaded from the department’s Website,” he said.

Lt-Col. Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, Assistant Director General for IT affairs in the department, said the Dubai immigration wants to set a balance between customers’ satisfaction and security grounds. “The initiative will help us develop the public’s awareness and keep them informed with the department’s updates.”

First Lieutenant Khalid Al Falasi, Director of electronic projects, said an applicant may have access to the mobile service by a distinct password, and choose the language suitable for him. “A company may inquire about the status and number of illegal residents under their sponsorship.”

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