Dubai: The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) will not stop people from exiting to any neighbouring country for visa change, the top official has clarified.

Major General Mohammad Al Merri, Director General of DNRD said nobody is banned from travelling to neighbouring areas like Kish in Iran or Oman to change their visas.

"We have never stopped people from exiting to any country of their choice to get their visas changed or renewed," said Al Merri.

Business as usual

The clarification came in the wake of confusion among residents on rules pertaining to visa changes as the authorities had banned visa run to neighbouring countries a few months ago. However, tour operators and airlines said it is business as usual for them as people continue to travel to Kish island in Iran and Oman to change their visas or renew their visit visas.

In that context, Al Merri said they prefer people go to their home country while awaiting for their employment visa so that they do not get stranded in a strange country.

"If he goes to a neighbouring country, what will happen to him if the visa gets delayed and the employer does not send the visa? It is to avoid such situations, we are encouraging people to go to their home countries," explained Al Merri.

On the question of changing a visit visa to employment visa without exiting the country, he said that people can do so by paying a fee. "Again, we will consider it on a case by case basis. We do let people change their visa status without exiting the country in order to help them avoid difficulties" he said.

When asked whether people who come on tourist and other kinds of visas will be allowed to apply for employment visas, Al Merri said it is against the rule for a tourist to work in the country.

"If anybody gets a job and applies for an employment visa, we will study the case, and then decide whether to approve his application or not," he said.

Quick look: Often asked questions

Q Is it compulsory to exit to one's home country to change visit visa into employment visa or take a new visit visa?
A No. One can exit to any country of his choice to do both.

Q Can visit visa be changed into employment visa by paying a fee and not going out of the country?
A Yes, it is possible.

Q Can people who come on tourist visas get it changed to employment visa?
A Applications will be approved on a case-to-case bases. As a general rule, it is not possible for tourists to apply for employment visas.

Q Can residents bring in their relatives on tourists visa?
A No, Only licensed tour agencies and hotels can bring in people on tourists visas.

By Anjana Sankar, Senior Reporter

Dubai: Residents can take health insurance for visitors from any insurance company, provided the policy meets the official specifications, said a senior official.

The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department specifies that the health policy should cover accidents and emergencies during visitor's stay in the country.

Oman and Aman Insurance, the two companies selected by DNRD to issue health policies have opened counters at DNRD office, and together are issuing about 300 health policies daily.

The two companies have been selected by DNRD following the new visa rules that make health insurance mandatory for all visitors to the UAE.

Staff at the insurance counters said the process is very smooth as majority of the people applying for visit visas for their relatives are buying the basic policy that cost Dh90 for 90 days.

"Today alone, we issued 150 policies by 12pm. People are also finding it easy because they can buy insurance over the counter within DNRD" said an Oman Insurance employee.

Three different types of health policies are available for visitors according to their visiting periods. Prices start from Dh40 for short-term visas valid for 30 days, Dh90 for visas valid for 90 days and Dh185 for multiple-entry visas valid for 180 days. Residents who were applying for visit visas said it was a hassle-free process to take insurance because policies are available over the counters at the DNRD offices.

Insurance counters are also be set up at the DNRD's branches located in Abu Hail, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport, Dnata passports on Shaikh Zayed Road, Umm Suqueim, Jebel Ali and Bin Souqat Centre in Rashidiya.

Aman Insurance said in a statement that they will provide this facility on line to all their major clients at their own premises without any need to call Aman every time they need insurance for their visas.

"Since the announcement making health insurance mandatory for visa applicants, Aman has already issued thousands of insurance certificates to hotels, tour operators, travel agents and major corporate clients and individuals alike. In due course, this facility will be extended to the entire tourism industry," said the statement.

Do you have any queries related to the new visa rules? How aware are you of the changes? Tell us at or fill in the form bellow to send your comments.

Your comments

I am an expat working as sales executive. Can I sponsor my two sons (21 and 17 years old) to visit me here in Dubai?
Posted: August 20, 2008, 12:10

I am holding Indian passport and working in Kuwait and I have service manager visa on my passport. I would like to visit Dubai with my wife, she also holding Indian passport and she is under my sponsorship. I mean she has (dependent visa/family visa). Is it possible for both of us to get visa on arrival? And how about the insurance policies for visitors, can we do that also at Dubai airport at the time of arrival? And what are the documents we have to bring along with us from Kuwait. We will be thankful to gulfnews if we get answer before we travel to Dubai.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 11:42

Dear Sir,if a person is having an employement visa, he went for vacation and in the mean time his visa has been he is unable to come. so what is the procedure for it? should the company provide a New permit for him? or remain same as the previous rules? please help me.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 11:41

Kindly make clarifications on the salary category should they decide to sponsor someone on a visit visa. I called up DNRD a few days ago inquiring about this, and the Customer Service I spoke to told me that if I am to sponsor a relative my salary should be AED8,000, while the report here in Gulf News was that it should only be AED6,000.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 09:23

I came to Dubai on three months visit visa. Can I get another visit visa on expiry of existing one. Or shall I leave the country and wait for one month to get another visit visa?
Posted: August 20, 2008, 08:26

Dear Editor, I paid about 375DHS for a 90days visit visa as againt the 90DHS mentioned in this article. This was at DNRD beside trade center about a week ago.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 08:15

Is NOC is compulsory for changing a job,If he/she completed more than 3years of working in a same company
Posted: August 20, 2008, 07:52

1)Is it necessary to take insurance from UAE or travellers can buy from home country.Is there any approved internatioal insurance companies list with DNRD . 2)Why same insurance cost for ADULTS AND CHILDRENS 3)What happen if insurance companies charges more than defined rates?
Posted: August 20, 2008, 07:47

It's a really good thing there is clarity on the new process! And what is better is the fact that everything can be done in the DNRD office itself!
Posted: August 20, 2008, 07:33

Posted: August 20, 2008, 06:48

Authority should give non-condition offer for changing visit visa to employment visa. If that tourist get job legaly.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 04:27

According to your news, "On the question of changing a visit visa to employment visa without exiting the country, he said that people can do so by paying a fee. "Again, we will consider it on a case by case basis. We do let people change their visa status without exiting the country in order to help them avoid difficulties"..... my question is, "who should pay that fee, the person involved or the company who will hire him?"
davao city,philippines
Posted: August 20, 2008, 04:04

Why property sector has been ignored in this policy where nothing is announced for those who invest millions in this country and dont even get any visa to come and visit their property or collect their rents and manage property matters.
Posted: August 20, 2008, 02:28

My mother is here on Visit Visa which was issued in july before the new rules, How long is that visa valid for and can i extend it now for another month?
Sue Ellen
Posted: August 20, 2008, 01:16

I heared that we need to wait in the home country for a month to get a new visit visa after complition of the first visit plz clarify
Posted: August 20, 2008, 00:46