No change in visit visa fee structure

ABU DHABI - There is no change to the existing fee structure for visit visa and will continue to be pegged at Dh100 for 60 days which can be extended to 90 days on payment of Dh500, a top ranking official from the Federal Immigration Authority has clarified.

By Wael Yousef

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Published: Wed 10 Aug 2005, 11:23 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

The new fee structure of Dh600 for a 90-day entry permit pertains to the "Mission Entry Permit" system developed by the Ministries of interior and Labour and Social Affairs for expat workforce with special qualification, the official said.

Allaying public concern over the new fee structure caused by reports in a section of the media, he said the Dh600, 90-day entry permit has nothing to do with the normal 60-day visit visa, which will continue to be issued for a fee of Dh100.

The mechanisms for implementation of the new system will have to be endorsed in an order by Interior Minister Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Elaborating further on the Mission Entry Permit, he said : "There are two factors, and the first is the fee structure (for 'Mission Entry Permit' system), which has already been approved by the Cabinet (Cabinet decision No. 16 of 2005), incorporating a Dh600 fee for the 90-day entry permit, and a Dh1200 fee for renewal of the 90-day entry permit."

"The second aspect is the category of people who stand to benefit from this rule and the duration of stay, which are two matters still under discussion," said the official.

Under the 'Mission Entry Permit' system, foreign workforce with special qualifications will be able to work in the country without an employment visa. Senior officials earlier said that the system was aimed at facilitating recruitment procedures required to employ temporary foreign workforce who are in demand in the local market.

The immigration official said : "I believe the details as to who can avail of the new service will be known within two weeks. These details will have to be worked out by higher authorities."

The Cabinet decision No. 16 of 2005 relates to a number of items and is not confined merely to the new entry permit system.

Conflicting media reports on whether the new fee structure could, in any way, affect the existing visit visa regulations in the UAE created confusion among corporate Public Relations Officers and the public in general.

"The new development has to do with the 'Mission Entry Permit' system only," asserted a senior officer at Abu Dhabi Immigration and Residency Department, the immigration agency handling visa transactions in the emirate at the local level.

The confusion sent shockwaves among the expatriate communities who bring family members and friends on visit visas. There was also ambiguity as to whether the new rules would affect normal visitors.

"People thought that the current visit visa system would be scrapped, and they reacted with anxiety," said Hasan Al Shehhi, a UAE national working at the IT Section of a federal ministry.

"The new ('Mission Entry Permit') system will be a good facility for companies and people with high qualifications and skills needed by the country," said Al Shehhi.

Saleem Naqqash, who works for a pharmaceutical establishement, said he had brought his mother on a visit visa and she stayed only for around 45 days. "Those who want to stay on a visit visa for longer periods are either qualified people working for companies for short periods or others seeking employment. And in both cases, I think the definition of a visit visa does not and should not apply to them," he said.

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