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New services to ease visa applications by the GDRFA

Smart e-gate will be function in by the beginning of January

Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
Smart e-Gate technology is demonstrated at the Dubai Immigration pavilion at Gitex Technology Week at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Gulf News

Dubai: In a bid to ease visa related issues for companies, the residency department has opened its external offices in Dubai for companies, which was previously restricted to individuals only.

External counters of the residency department will start receiving applications from companies starting from Wednesday, according to top officials.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) said on Monday that some of the external offices will be opened to companies to apply for visa and companies’ establishment related transactions.

Major General Al Merri said the centres in Deria, Al Muhaisnah, in Al Khail Mall and Al Manara external centre in Bur Dubai will be opened for companies and individuals.

He added that the other 22 external centres in Dubai will be allowed to finalise only three transactions for each company who apply at any one of those centres.

“In case a company has any more transactions they will be referred to the authorised external office.” He said.

Major General Al Merri said previously GDRFA centres were opened only for individuals who can apply at any one of them for any related visa issues.

This was announced at the GDRFA leaders meeting to discuses the out come of the 2012.

Major General Al Merri said that the e-smart gate will be opened to all travellers by the beginning of January.

Another services by the GDRFA which will be announced by next year is allowing all tourist companies, air-lines, companies who are bringing people on visit or tourist visas to the country on their sponsorship to get information about that person before he or she travels.

“If the someone is black listed and cannot enter the country the person will not be allowed to board from his or her own country.

Getting advanced information about visitors will ease the process of their entry to the country.

Previously one can get such information only by visiting the GDRFA headquarters but very soon this will be through the airlines and tourist companies in the home country of the visitor.

The advanced information about visitors’ services was restricted to Emirates, Fly Dubai and Etihad Airways but very soon it will be opened for all tourist and airlines.

He said 40 Smart e-Gates installed across Dubai terminals to ease passenger entry and exit and will be inaugurated in January.

The system, equipped with retinal scan using a high-accuracy camera, will eliminate the need for the eye scan and e-Gate card currently issued by the GDRFA.

With this new technology, there is no need for prior user registration with the GDRFA, which is the case with the existing e-Gate card.

The new technology paves the way for a faster and more efficient movement of the growing number of passengers into and out of the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passengers.

“Passengers across Dubai terminals will finalise their entry or exit procedures within four seconds.”

All holders of modern passports with barcodes that can be read by the e-reader, can use the e-Gate, including children above the age of seven.

Passengers who hold passports without e-readable barcodes can use the existing e-Gates or the conventional immigration counters to complete their entry or exit process

“The Smart e-gate is one stop shop that allows a faster and more convenient movement of the growing number of passengers through Dubai airports,” he added.

What is required is just the scanning of the passport while the device will automatically read and compare the information with the backup installed data then face recognition together with the passport data will be saved automatically, he said.