Monday, December 3, 2018

UAE extends amnesty by December 31st

The UAE’s visa amnesty has been extended for one more month granting amnesty seekers more time to settle their visa status in the country, an official told.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Al Dallal, the spokesperson at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of the Ministry of Interior, said the amnesty extension came under the directives of  His Highness UAE President Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and would now end on December 31.

The extension is the second time the UAE amnesty period has been lengthened. Originally launched on August 1, the amnesty period was initially set for three months until the end of October; it was then extended until November 30 and then again until December 31.

"The authority will on Tuesday continue to welcome people wishing to avail of the amnesty initiative at the nine registration centres across the UAE so that they can rectify their status," the FAIC said in a statement.

The "Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status" initiative that granted a three-month grace period for illegal residents to modify their status or leave the UAE without facing fines or legal issues started on August 1 until October 31, 2018.  But the authority extended the amnesty scheme for a month which was supposed to end on November 30, 2018, after the expiry of the extension.

Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Acting Director-General of Foreigners and Ports Affairs at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said the decision to extend the deadline for another month comes as a "generous initiative" to mark the country's 47th anniversary.

"The extension of the amnesty initiative is a generous gesture from the UAE leaders which is also characterized by their keenness for humanity and supporting people," said Al Rashidi.

Monday, November 26, 2018

UAE Cabinet approves long-term visa system

The UAE Cabinet approved long-term visa system for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science, knowledge and outstanding students to facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment for the growth of business for investors, entrepreneurs and professional talents.

The decision of the Cabinet follows the decision approved earlier this year to grant investors a ten-year residency visa, as well as to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and for scientists and creative talents of culture and arts, including their spouses and children. The decision aims to maintain the position of the UAE as an optimal business environment.

The decision includes the terms and conditions for obtaining long-term visas for investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in the fields of science and knowledge, and outstanding students to attract talents in all vital sectors of the national economy. The visa benefits also include the spouse and the children to ensure a cohesive family and social structure and to create a stimulating environment for stability and growth.

The decision includes the provisions to grant investors from UAE and broad a long-term visa. It defines two categories for investors: Investors in a property of a value of 5 million dirhams or more will be granted a residence for five years, and investors in public investments through a deposit, an established company, business partnership of 10 million dirhams or more, or a total investment of not less than 10 million dirhams in all areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60per cent of the total investment, will be granted a renewable residency visa every 10 years.

The Cabinet decision outlines the following conditions for both categories:
  • The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned and should be proven by supporting documents
  • Investment retention for at least 3 years A standard financial liability with a financial solvency not exceeding Dh10 million
  • The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners, provided that each partner contributes Dh10 million, the spouse and the children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
  • The decision allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, multiple entries, to apply for the long-term visa requirements.

The decision also includes the terms to grant a long-term visa to two categories of entrepreneurs: those having a previous project with a minimum of Dh500,000, or having the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. Entrepreneurs will be granted a five-year visa with a possibility for upgrading to an investor’s visa provided they meet the requirements.

The benefits of the entrepreneurial visa include entrepreneurs, partners, three executive directors, spouse and children. The entrepreneur is allowed entry into the country for six months, multi-entry visa period, with renewal for another six months.

Specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge

The decision also includes provisions for granting a 10-year visa for specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors. As well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa's advantages include the spouse and the children.

All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised in fields of priority for the UAE, and the conditions for each category are defined as follows:
Doctors and specialists (at least 2 of the conditions mentioned below must be met)

  •  The holder of a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world
  •  The holder of an award or certificates of appreciation for the work in the applicant's jurisdiction
  • Contribution to a major scientific research related to the work of the applicant
  •  Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the field of work of the applicant
  •  Membership in an organization related to the work of the applicant, which requires excellent work to accept membership
  •  PhD degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant's field of work.
  •  Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for doctors)
  •  Scientists must be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council.
  •  Holders of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development Inventors. Obtain a patent of value added to UAE’s economy with the approval of the Ministry of Economy Exceptional Talents. Those who have exceptional talents that are documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals.

Executives: Owners of leading, well-known and internationally recognised companies - Holders of high academic achievement, professional experience, and position (eg, an engineer in a rare speciality with a university degree and working in a private company in the UAE). The inclusion of this category aims at maintaining current competencies and attract new competencies.

Outstanding students: The decision also includes provisions for granting a five-year visa to outstanding students with a grade of at least 95per cent in public secondary schools in public and private schools, and a distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation from universities within and outside the country. Benefits include families of the outstanding students.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

UAE Travellers don’t need permission for regular medicines

permission for import of personal medicine for travellers. Residents and tourists travelling to the UAE do not need prior approval to carry regular medicines for personal use, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has clarified on its website, laying to rest several queries that had arisen due to the ministry spokesperson’s earlier statements.

The ministry spokesperson had said that travellers carrying any kind of personal medication to the UAE would require to mandatorily register on the ministry’s website and obtain approval to carry them. The ministry has now clarified that this only applies to narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled medicines and is not mandatory for regular medicines.

A detailed list of narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled medicines mentioned in Schedule IV of the UAE Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 is available on the ministry’s website.

The banned list also contains medicines that are not registered in the UAE, herbal medicines that might contain some banned substances, medical devices that might contain banned medication and medicines that have been discontinued in the UAE. ?Other than the list of the medicines and chemical compositions mentioned on the website, all other medicines are deemed ‘regular’ or prescription-only medication (POM). The website explains: ‘Prescription-only medicines (POM) are medical preparations not listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.

These must not contain any of the substances mentioned in the International Control Drugs conventions or on the list of Controlled registered medicines mentioned in the ministry’s controlled drug annexure.

Although the guidelines mentioned at the link state that all medication including general medicine requires to be registered, a call representative at the ministry’s toll-free line 80011111 clarified that as of now people carrying POMs do not need to register themselves or seek formal approval from the ministry.

Residents and tourists to UAE can carry their POMs without having to seek prior approval, provided they fulfil three prerequisites. These include a doctor’s prescription, a medical report that explains why the individual requires the medication and the quantity of medication are restricted to a duration of not more than three months.

Residents and tourists can log on to the ministry website and go to the section entitled ‘individual services’.