x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

New committee to oversee UAE visa applications

Businesses involved with processing visa applications will now be subject to new regulations.

Businesses that assist visa applicants must now be licensed by a new government committee.

Juma Al Junaibi, the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said several embassies had asked private offices to process visa applications on their behalf.

"These offices don't have any licence to practise this service as they are licensed as typing or photocopying offices," Mr Al Junaibi said.

The offices need to be regulated as they have the private information of visa applicants, and because there were some complaints that businesses would not refund visa fees if the applications were rejected.

There are four such offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They will have until January 24 next year to obtain licences.

Businesses wishing to provide visa-issuing services must apply to the Department of Economic Development in their emirate.

Representatives from the committee will visit the businesses to see whether it abides by the new regulations.

* Haneen Dajani