Mass visa clearance to take just a week

DUBAI — Mass visa transactions will henceforth be processed in just about a week instead of a month, the Ministry of Labour has affirmed. In doing so, the ministry is seeking to introduce a mechanism that limits the three-phase procedure to just two phases.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 18 Jun 2006, 10:24 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:23 PM

The ministry's operations taskforce will submit to the Minister of Labour Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi a detailed plan on the new mass visa processing mechanism in a month's time.

Humaid bin Demas, acting under-secretary in the ministry, the heads of visa committees and directors of various departments held an extended meeting with 200 representatives of major companies in Dubai to seek their opinion and assess current service levels before the ministry went ahead with any proposal for streamlining the process.

The company owners had made a series of observations demanding the simplification of collective visa procedures.

They recommended that some documents required to finalise the process be waived. According to them, the ministry needed to come clear on the conditions and required documents before the transaction was submitted.

Bin Demas disclosed that the taskforce would reconsider nine services offered by the ministry to the private sector.

“Regular meetings will be convened with companies representatives in order to reach agreement on many aspects,” he said, adding that the meeting was only the first of its kind and aimed at eliciting first-hand opinion from companies.

Bin Demas indicated that the Labour Minister had stressed the importance of coordination and consultation with the private sector to foster true partnership and dialogue between the two sides.

“No development will be made before the opinion of involved companies — our partners in service — is taken into account,” he insisted.

He announced that 900 major firms had benefited from the issue of 200,000 mass employment permits last year. The ministry had received 350 applications over the past five months, he added.

“The ministry is striving to truncate the time of processing to an ideal period of just one week provided that all required documents — the most important of which are contracts, commercial licences and adequate accommodation - are met,” he explained.

Representatives of companies also demanded that applications be submitted without attaching evidence of their need for workers. The ministry officials, however, rejected the plea, contending that they could not approve of workers numbering near 5,000 without being convinced of the real need for them.

The representatives also felt that the accommodation criterion could be waived but Bin Demas insisted that housing remained a basic demand and an indicator of the seriousness of the company in its application.

“Housing condition cannot be waived,'” he emphasised.

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