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5.7m visa applications cleared online this year

New digital system of residency directorate saves time and effort for companies

Image Credit: Supplied
Maj-Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri
Gulf News

Dubai: Around 5.7 million residency and visit visa applications were processed in Dubai through the online service system, officials said on Saturday.

The latest figures from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) show that several large companies in Dubai are using the online service to get residency visas issued for their employees, which has helped reduce customer visits to GDRFA-Dubai branches.

Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of GDRFA-Dubai, said the transition to the electronic platform is part of the directorate’s efforts to develop digital services for the convenience of customers.

He added that the directorate handled 5.7 million applications until the end of August this year, including 1.9 million residency visas and 4.6 million entry permits for employees in the companies.

“We are continuously looking to adopt the latest technological standards with the aim of saving time and efforts for our clients,” said Maj-Gen Al Merri.

“We are following our wise leadership’s aspiring vision to reduce the number of clients in all government service centres by 80 per cent through 2018, a target that we are looking to reach as part of the commitment to instructions given by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We will reach the target of the Smart Dubai plan for 2021 to make Dubai the top country in the world in happiness.”

He added: “Big companies in the past needed time and effort to finish their work, like issuing visa permits, and renewing and issuing residency visas for their employees, but with the online service, it has cut time and expenses. They are finishing their transactions at their own office desks without the need to visit GDRFA headquarters or any of its branches.”

Companies need to register for the online systems before using the GDRFA service.

“The creative government breaks the routine to deliver best services and create best living and happiness levels for the people in Dubai.”

Maj-Gen Al Merri praised his officers for finishing the online transactions of the companies by working round the clock.

Smart permits

5,700,203 smart permit applications processed by GDRFA through the online service, including 1,090,975 residency permits and 4,609,228 visa permits