The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP) is now granting multiple-entry tourist visas to family groups.
Previously, one would have to apply for each family member separately, submitting the same set of documents for everyone. But now, the ICP website is providing an option for a family to apply as a group, thus streamlining the process.
A Dubai resident told Khaleej Times that when he flew his family in for a visit, he had to file two separate applications for his parents. However, this is not the case anymore, as a travel agent confirmed that applicants can now go through the new process. This means families no longer have to send applications and supporting documents separately if they are visiting as a group.
Valid for five years, this visa — issued to families with children below the age of 18 — allows beneficiaries to stay in the UAE for a continuous period not exceeding 90 days. It may be extended for a period not exceeding 180 days during the year.
A travel agent, who wished to remain anonymous, said the visas had been in high demand, but agencies had no role to play in it.
“It is a service by the ICP and does not require any sponsor in the country,” he said. “However, it is better for them to individually apply for the visa online on the ICP website than go through an agent because travel agencies don’t have a quota or anything of that sort for this kind of visa.”
Indian national Rehna Nazir said she was already in the process of applying for the visa for herself and her family of 5.
“We visit Dubai a couple of times every year to see my sister,” she said. “Having a multiple-entry visa would save us all the trouble of having to apply for a visa every time we want to travel. It would also make impulsive trips possible. Sometimes, my children get unexpected time off from school. If we have this visa, we can plan a trip without worrying about anything else.”
To apply for the visa, families must submit the following:
According to the ICP website, the visa costs Dh750, in addition to a security deposit of Dh3,025.
In December last year, the Dubai’s tourism body said it was working with authorities to roll out a five-year multiple-entry tourist visa on a much bigger scale in order to attract more tourists. The visa was introduced as part of sweeping reforms announced last year.
In an interview, Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, had said that the multi-entry visa would help the country in terms of attracting tourists.
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