Expats can now apply online for UAE entry permit

Muscat: Applications for online visa and fee payment have been introduced for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), easing travel plans for Dubai, said an Indian expatriate who purchased an eVisa for the Emirate.Stay ahead of the rest and download our free WhatsNews app for Apple, Android or Blackberry

“It is quite easy to get a visa now. After I purchased the ticket from Oman Air, I enquired with them about the visa. They advised me to try and get it online, and it was quite easy. Within 12 hours I got the visa,” said Balaji Mohan Sundaram, an Indian expatriate who got the eVisa for his family.

Quoting Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, the Khaleej Times reported that expatriates living in Oman as well as in other GCC countries on resident visas will no longer have to wait in a queue to pay for the UAE entry permits upon arrival at the airport.

To ease paperwork
Major General Al Marri has said that the new facility is set to help ease the paperwork usually required for a visa.

“It is not a compulsory step as for those visa applicants to obtain entry permits into the UAE. The choice is left to them whether to apply online and jump the queues,” said the official.

“With time, the public will get used to the new procedure and come to realise that it is much easier and more convenient,” said Major General Al Marri.

However, it is not clear whether travellers to Dubai by road can make use of the online system.

“I do not think that can be done, because in the online application system we have to enter Passenger Name Record (PNR) number provided by the airline. So, I doubt whether a visitor who is planning to travel by road to Dubai can make use of this facility,” added Balaji.

Travel agents
Meanwhile, travel agents in Muscat said that though they have not got any official communication from the UAE government, they have learnt from their Dubai offices that the online visa system has begun operating.

Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, told Khaleej Times on Tuesday that online application and online payment of visa fees have been introduced for expatriates staying in the GCC on residence visas in order to spare them from the hassle of waiting in queues at the Dubai International Airport.