The visa section at GDRFA
The visa section at GDRFA. Officials have urged people to obtain UAE visas only through legal channels. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: An official at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has cautioned the public against falling prey to individuals and companies peddling fake UAE visas.

Brigadier Khalaf Al Gaith, assistant director-general in charge of GRDFA’s Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section, said those wanting to come to the UAE must obtain visas from legal channels only.

The warning comes close on the heels of a crackdown on a fake UAE visa racket in India. Two men were arrested by Delhi police last week after it emerged that they sold fake UAE employment visas to 17 unsuspecting jobseekers from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

The suspects had been evading arrests for some time but were finally caught on April 17.

Police said that one of the accused used an ingenious method to attract customers. Much like a street vendor, he sold visas using a loudspeaker.

The suspects reportedly charged Rs100,000 (Dh5,200) from each customer.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI) Sanjay Bhatia said shortly after the 17 jobseekers who had flown to the UAE on fake visas were deported, immigration officials filed a complaint against the two suspects.

A similar racket was busted by Gujarat Police in March this year.

“Many people fall prey to the fake visa racket. “Recently, we busted a gang from Bahrain that was offering UAE visas on Facebook,” Brig Al Gaith said.

The GDRFA Dubai has long been urging people to use its smart channels — the GDRFA website or app — to apply for visas.

“Those who get a company visa should visit our website to check if it’s genuine or not. Alternatively, you could look up the ‘Visa Inquiry’ section on the GDRFA app.

How to avoid visa fraud

■ Don’t fall for social media adverts promising visit visas to the UAE

■ If you have an entry permit/visa issued from Dubai, verify its validity at the GDRFA’s website

■ Tourist visas can be issued through UAE-based airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia. They are also issued through UAE-based hotels and travel agencies.

■ Get help on visas and entry permits issued from Dubai through Amer’s chat service by calling 8005111. People outside the UAE can call 0097143139999