Online process. Nehal Ahmed of Darwish Shakeel Typing Centre explaining the new rules to a visa applicant Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/XPRESS

DUBAI The General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs Dubai has urged its customers to bring original documents while submitting visa applications as photocopies will no longer be accepted.

In a notification issued last week, the GDRFAD said: “The procedure is effective from October 14 and will be made compulsory at all service centres, including the headquarters, GDRFAD service centres and typing centres by November 15.”

“It is important to note that the Emirates ID of the sponsor and applicant and the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) should be presented while applying,” it noted.

Typing centres that have adopted the new system said a number of visa applicants are being turned away because they do not bring their original documents with them.

Nehal Ahmed, owner of the Darwish Shakeel Typing Centre near the GDRFAD headquarters said: “Under the new system titled ‘Vision’, all transactions will now be submitted online. Customers have to provide all their documents in original (see box). These documents will be scanned at the typing centres and returned to them.”

Time saver

He said typing centres will also process all visa deposits, guarantees, file opening charges and fine payments when applications are submitted. “The new system is aimed at unifying visa processes and procedures and also reduce the usage of paper and waiting time for customers at the Immigration. Customers will be required to visit the Immigration only after their online visa applications are approved through SMS,” he added.

Thaju of Al Hijrah Typing Centre, at the Immigration complex, said: “We cannot proceed with any visa application unless key identity documents are submitted in original. The new system is a big time saver if all the documents are in place. Applicants should make sure they do not miss any of these requirements.”

List of documents needed for visa applications

Original passport and Emirates ID of the sponsor

Original passport and Emirates ID of the sponsored person in case of resident family visa stamping and renewal

Clear colour copy of the sponsored person’s passport in case of entry permit for residence, employment or visit

Colour photographs of the sponsored person against a white background

Labour contract, labour card, salary certificate in case of thoise working in the private sector, government or free zones

Trade licence of the sponsor is a partner or investor

Original tenancy contract/Ejari

Attested birth/marriage certificate as applicable

International Bank Account Number or IBAN of the sponsor