Typing centres across the country are reporting a considerable increase in enquiries for the application and availing of the new categories of residency and visit visas in UAE.
A significantly expanded Golden Visa scheme, the new five-year Green residency, a multiple-entry tourist visa and job-hunting entry permits are among the several residency reforms expected to take effect next week (September 5 onwards).
As per the UAE Cabinet decision that the government of UAE announced in mid-April, all these new executive regulations related to entry and residence laws will come into force after 90 days from its publication in the Official Gazette.
However, business set-up and typing centre employees have said they are awaiting clarity from immigration authorities to begin application processes for the new visas.
While there are multiple enquiries for the new visas, the back-end application portals hosted by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai are yet to be updated.
According to Mushahad Cheenamadath an employee with the Delight Typing Office, immigration services and business set-up establishment in Abu Dhabi, the back-end ICP portal, on which the typing centres upload applicant information, will be updated on Sunday, September 4, between 4 pm to 11 pm.
“The notification has informed us to not upload applicant information during this time, either from the mobile app or website,” explained Cheenamadath. He added, “Most of the enquiries we receive are for the new visas, especially the five-year residency visas and the Green visa. Once the official updates come through, we will begin taking applications.”
Similarly, Shamim Yusuf, the general manager at Al Nahda Centre in Dubai, said their company has not been accepting Golden visa applications for the past two weeks as they await updated reforms from GDRFA.
“For the past two weeks, things have slowed down. We are expecting a lot of changes within the application system. The documentation requirements for the Golden visa are also going to have some changes, and we don’t want our customers to go back and forth,” said Yusuf.
He added, “There are a lot of enquiries for Golden and five-year multiple-entry tourist visas as these are good for people wanting to set up base in the UAE. There are a lot of enquiries for the Green visa as well.” An Amer Centre employee also confirmed to Khaleej Times that the documentation procedures were unclear on the back-end systems. “We have plenty of enquiries,” the agent said with anonymity.
Meanwhile, a typing centre in Abu Dhabi said two applicants had received the five-year multiple entry visit visa by applying directly on the ICP website. “However, many applicants have also been rejected as the documents they provided were insufficient. Moreover, there are no options for re-submission as well. We recommend that people wait a few weeks until the process is made clear, and then they apply to avoid rejections,” the typing Centre employee said.
Sudheesh TP, the Deira Travels and Tourist Agency general manager, said, “The trade sectors have not received much clarity. However, with the new residency and visa reforms, including the one for the FIFA World Cup, we expect a boom in demand. Processes are also becoming increasingly hassle-free. With the introduction of all these services, UAE will be a 365-day tourism hub.”
These new visas and entry permits are part of the most significant entry and residency reforms adopted in the UAE.
The new system will significantly benefit the expatriates living and working in the UAE and visitors. It will also make the Emirates an even more investor-friendly country for foreigners and high-net-worth individuals looking to have a long-term presence in the UAE.
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