ABU DHABI // Tenancy contracts and utility bills are no longer required to obtain a residence visa.
There was widespread dismay when the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs required those wishing to obtain or renew visas from June 1 to provide a valid lease contract attested by their municipality, and utility bills in their name.
But Maj Gen Nasser Al Menhali, assistant under secretary for the residency department at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday: "No tenancy contract is required for applying for a residence visa." Specifics of the latest decision would be available today, he said.
The new rules had so far been implemented only in Abu Dhabi, where residents were pleased they had been reversed.
"It's a big relief," said Alam Badusha, an Indian expatriate who has lived in the UAE for eight years.
"I work in Abu Dhabi and live in Sharjah. I wanted to get my daughter's visa but had a problem with this new tenancy contract rule. I am thankful to the authorities for the change."
Anish Kumar, an Abu Dhabi resident for three years, said: "I was looking for a visa for my wife but did not have an electricity bill under my name. Because of this reversal of the rule I am happy."
Wason, an Ethiopian, went to the typing centre and was told the tenancy contract was no longer needed.
Documents needed to renew a residency visa are a valid passport, a residency renewal application stamped by the employer, a copy of the expiring visa, a health certificate from the preventive medicine department, a copy of the health insurance card, a copy of the employer's commercial licence if it is a private company, a copy of the applicant's Emirates ID card or registration receipt, and an attested marriage certificate for couples.
Employees in the public sector need a valid passport, a renewal of residency application stamped by the sponsor, a copy of the former residency visa, a health certificate from the preventive medicine department and a copy of the health insurance card.