November, 2017

Archive - November 2017

Dubai International Financial Centre launches online visa system, amends rules



The DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) has unveiled a new online visa service along with an updated fee schedule and rules have been reformed pertaining to secondment permit applications and their supporting documents.

Hereafter, an online system will process visas. Moreover, a new service, E-GDRFA, was launched by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs on 1 November.

With this system, the following new changes will come into place:

To access online entry permits, one has to go through the client portal of DIFC. Upon being issued electronically, entry permits may be printed and mailed to applicants for entering the UAE.

A complete UAE ID registration and a medical test must be undertaken by visa applicants who want to transfer between DIFC companies. Following that, visas with a validity of three years will be issued to applicants, only if they continue their employment with the new employer.

If applicants change personal details when they want to renew employment visas or transfer visas from one passport to another, their applications won’t be entertained. Applicants can change personal details, including their job titles, only after authorities issue a different ‘visa amendment’ application.

According to, henceforth, it won’t be necessary for applicants to provide their Emirates ID and original passports when they cancel their employment visas. The DIFC client portal will provide information that visas have been cancelled.

As revisions have been made to service fees in accordance with industry standards, most services and visa categories and services will see their fees being hiked. Applicants can get information about the new structure on DIFC website.

As rules have been changed on secondment permits, employers will now be allowed to apply for secondment permits even if the employee’s work visa does not have the validity for the entire duration of secondment. But companies that will do this, must promise to renew the employment visa of the employee at the right time, failing which secondment permits will not be considered valid.

It will be made possible to issue secondment permits, which are valid for three months, six months or one year, and if they expire, they may be renewed.

It is mandatory for supporting documentation that is submitted visa applications to be either in Arabic or English. When original documents are not in one of these languages, it will be accepted only if they are translated into Arabic, and not into English.

If you are looking to travel to Dubai, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading company for immigration services, to apply for a visa.

Philippines to ease visa rules for nationals of UAE



The Philippines Consulate-General in Dubai is suggesting ways to the Philippines government to hasten the visa application processes for the UAE nationals, according to a top diplomat on 5 November.
Paul Raymund Cortes, Consul-General, said the processing time at present to visa application ranges from five to 10 days. This Southeast nation is working has decided to reduce it to attract more nationals from the UAE.
Cortes, speaking during the sidelines of the unveiling of Dream Philippines, a campaign of the consulate to promote visitor arrivals to their country, was quoted by Gulf News as saying that many expats residing in the GCC, especially South Asian nationals, require a visa to enter the Philippines, and, therefore, the country is working on a more seamless visa processing period for these people.
He added that the number of visa applications their consulate was receiving had increased since 2013. Between 2013 and 31 October 2017, the consulate is said to have processed 23,247 visa applications, which include multiple-entry visas.
Total visitor arrivals in the Philippines reached a figure of 2,882,737 during January-May 2017, an increase of 14.43 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2016. But only 1.25 percent of these arrived from the Gulf countries.
Cortes said the consulate has entered into a partnership with Tabeer Tourism to offer select holiday packages to showcase the Philippines to UAE nationals.
He said that they wished to kindle the interest of the nationals of GCC and the expats of the UAE to view the Philippines as an attractive tourist destination. The consulate wants to diversify its tourism efforts this time because a single approach was not proving good enough, Cortes added.
If you are looking to travel to the Philippines, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading consultancy for immigration services, to apply for a tourist visa.

Amer centres replace typing centres for visa processing in Dubai



It was earlier announced by GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs) that 50 Amer centres, a one-stop shop that will allow Dubai residents to finish all transactions related to visa and residency under the same roof, will replace 600 typing centres from 1 November.
Meanwhile, some of the typing centres in Dubai have ceased to process visas. In fact, on 1 November, many of Dubai’s typing centres said that system being used for typing residence visa applications had been disabled. It was said that typing centres will be hereafter unable to process visa applications.
Asif Mahmoud, the manager of Al Arsa Typing Center, was quoted by Khaleej Times as telling it that as of 1 November, typing centres were notified that their application process system of visa would be disabled. He added that people henceforth could only get their family visa processing done at Amer centres.
But Asif Khan, manager of The One Documents Services, said their system was still functional and added that many of their neighbouring typing centres had reported that their system was no longer functioning. Khan said that this decision would not affect operations of large printing centres designed as per GDRFA requirements.
Amer Centres, which were launched with an objective of simplifying transactions and improving efficiency, will also provide services such as issuing or renewing residency visa, issuing entry permits, visa cancellation and other related services that government institutions and departments provide. It is said that Amer centres will cut down the applicants processing time and efforts as they would no longer be required to go to GDRFA offices if they want to apply for or cancel their residency visas.
Currently, there are two Amer centres through which residents of this emirate can complete their visa and residency transactions. One is in Al Muhaisnah 4 area and the other was inaugurated in October at Al Kifaf Municipality centre.
More centres of this kind will be located in different areas of Dubai to provide many services for centres under one roof with no necessity for paying extra transaction fees or submitting more documents, which are required for transactions of residence and visa.
Major Salem Mohammad Ali, director of Client Happiness Centre, had d earlier said that at least 5,000-6,000 transactions would be handled daily by an Amer centre.
Ali added that if all required documents are provided, a transaction could be completed as quickly as in less than half a day or a maximum of two days if a courier is required.
If you are looking to travel to or from Dubai, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading firm for immigration services, to apply for a visa.