UAE Press: New UAE visa changes strike a balance

ABU DHABI, 20th October, 2018 (WAM) — Tomorrow, the UAE enters a new era of openness, good governance and transparency with the adoption and implementation of a new visa and residency regimen, a UAE daily has said.

In an editorial on Saturday Gulf News said, “The wide-ranging rule changes are taking effect as a result of the decision taken recently by the cabinet, and they set the UAE on a path that balances the needs of the nation with those who live here and come to visit.”

“Significantly too, the changes to visa regulations in relation to the status of women who are widowed or divorced ease the burdens brought about by their situations and reflect the concern and compassion of the government in easing their individual situations,” it added.

It continued, “The new visa rule change allows for a one-year residency without any need for a sponsor, making life simpler at a difficult time of transition and emotional stress. Beginning either from the date of death or divorce, the residency visa extension for a year also covers any children affected by the sudden change in circumstances.

“But the new visa changes are broader too, affecting tourists and visitors to the UAE, allowing them to apply for new entry visas after their previous ones expire and remove the need of having to physically leave the country first.

“For those who come here and are forced to change their travel plans for one reason or another, the new rules allow greater flexibility in dealing with renewals and extensions of visit visas.”

The paper went on to say that the rules also modernise regulations when it comes to the renewal of visas for children – who have been sponsored by their parents – after completion of their education at the high school or university level, and for those who turn 18. “Their residency visas can be extended for a year, with the possibility to renew for a subsequent year also.”

“And for those who fail to meet these criteria, there’s also a provision in this new regiment to allow for humanitarian exceptions on payment of a bank deposit.”

“While there are certain administrative documents that must be provided, the changes in visa rules do generally ease the burden for those who fall into categories not covered previously,” it added.

“Certainly, the whole issue of visa regulations is one of paramount importance to the UAE, and there’s a need for officials to fully know who is living in the nation at any given time, and for how long they intend to remain here, either as residents or tourists,” the paper explained.

“The objective of this new visa regimen is to provide compassionate assistance to those in need or when students finish their formal education, and to balance the needs of the UAE in making sure its borders are secure – and in those regards it succeeds,” concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

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