x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

What more should be done to weed out abuse of the UAE's visa system?

Emirati passports are being used to defraud the system by people applying for free work visas for staff then selling them to desperate illegal immigrants.

Unscrupulous passport officials have been issuing residency visas illegally to housemaids and casual workers, according to the Ministry of Interior. As well, Emirati passports are being used to defraud the system by people applying for free work visas for staff then selling them to desperate illegal immigrants. Until last year, the worst anyone could expect if caught was a Dh10,000 fine, but new penalties have increased the stakes. Offenders can now be jailed and fined up to Dh70,000. The rules dictate that Emiratis apply in person for the visas, but in some cases officials have been turning a blind eye and supplying them to people who have obtained Emirati passports illegally. What other measures do you think should be in place to deter or prevent fraud of the UAE visa system? Should the rules be made more strict? Or would that make it unnecessarily difficult, or add extra barriers, for people who use the system legitimately?