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Visit Visas for Companies Could be Limited

Adel Arafah (KT exclusive) / 8 January 2009

ABU DHABI - Trading in visit visas has prompted the Ministry of Interior to consider not issuing them for small businesses and restricting the number for large companies in a bid to curb illegal workers.

“The departments of Naturalisation and Residency referred a number of these companies to the Public Prosecutor after they exploited the issuance visit visas through trading in them and profiting from them,” Brigadier Nasser Al Awadi Al Minhali, a senior official with the Ministry of Interior, said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

“Due to such reasons the Ministry of Interior is taking measures to limit the issuance of these visas and confine them for large companies and that will be according to strict procedures to curb their exploitation for illegal purposes,” said Brigadier Al Minhali, who is acting director-general of the Department of Naturalisation and Residency at the Ministry.

Meanwhile Retired General Ali Majid Al Matroushi, member of the Federal National Council, Chairman of the Internal Affairs and National Defence Committee of the FNC said, “The committee conducted a survey about the visit visas and discovered that a large proportion of the smaller shops have taken advantage from the issuance of visit visas facility for trading in them.”

He said shop owners often brought people into the country on a visit visa with the purpose that they work in the UAE.

Al Matroushi added that many who entered the country as a visitor could not get a job and stayed on illegally.

“The shop owner, to get rid of this dilemma, would then submit an absconding report on the escape of the visitor and that will be through an agreement between the two parties to have no responsibility,î”said Al Matroushi.

Al Matroushi said these illegals were a threat to the community.

“The FNC sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior, calling for the need for visa controls to prevent the issuance of visit visas for the owners of small shops and institutions.

“The law allowed companies to bring an expert or technician on a visit visa to help in work.”

However, Al Matroushi said companies rarely needed visit visas for international experts and the FNC asked that large companies also be restricted on visit visas.

“We also asked the Ministry of Interior to regulate or reduce the number of visit visas allowed for big companies, and allowing them to have only one visit visa in case such company has a hundred workers under its sponsorship,” Al Matroushi said.


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