Sunday, 17 January 2010
Visa rules change in the UAE....again
Or are these 'new' visa rules the same as were published in the 'Gulf News' on 10 July 2008 and 11 Nov 2009?
Visas for visit, transit and tourism are valid only for a single entry into the UAE, said a senior official at the Ministry of Interior, adding that visitors cannot return using the same permit even after a trip to a neighbouring country.
Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of the Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, told Gulf News: "A visitor needs to get a new entry permit to re-enter the country once he or she leaves the country for any destination. The new entry permit will be issued only after one month from the date the visitor leaves the UAE."
Major General Al Merri was responding to a question about visitors who face difficulties in returning to the UAE after a short sightseeing trip to Oman or after leaving in a hurry for a meeting in Bahrain.
They cannot re-enter the UAE immediately since a new visa will be issued only after a gap of at least one month.
The rule applies even if the visitors leave the country before the expiry of their entry permits, he said. "They have to wait for one month before applying for another entry permit."
Major General Al Merri said this happens to some people who arrive on tourist or visit visas to see family or friends or visit the country as tourists.
"They stay here for few days and then decide to go to Oman, Bahrain or any nearby country. These people believe they can return to the UAE using the same entry permit as they stayed here only for a few days.
"They think the entry permit is still valid since they did not use it till the expiry date," he said.
Major General Al Merri said the department, however, could take into consideration any exceptional circumstances pertaining to a particular visitor. But such a decision is taken on case-by-case basis.
"We want to make it easy and enjoyable for people who want to visit our country. But they should adhere to the rules," he said.
Multiple entry visas are an option for businessmen who are frequent visitors to the UAE and who have a relationship with a reputable company here.
This visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and costs Dh1,000. However, each visit must not exceed 30 days.
Visit, tourist and transit visas are only for single entry.