Monday, May 30, 2011

'Thousands' of visa scams uncovered by Interior Ministry

The Ministry of Labour has unearthed ‘thousands’ of cases of visa fraud by owners of certain establishments applying for residence visas for individuals without labour cards, senior ministry officials have said.
According to Humaid bin Deemas, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour, three such cases have been unearthed during the past two weeks. He said the owner of a facility which has only 30 work permits (labour visas) tried to issue 130 visas from the Residency and Foreign Affairs Department.
“The electronic link between the ministries of Labor and Interior detects and prevents these cases of forgery, and will allow us to say ‘goodbye’ to the visa traders,” he said.
Bin Deemas made the announcement on the sidelines of an event to mark the conclusion of the first phase of the electronic link between the two ministries.
Colonel Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, General Manager of the Residency & Foreign Affairs Department at the Ministry of Interior, said: “The ministry discovered thousands of cases of fraud that were carried out by the owners of facilities in which they requested residence visas for persons who do not have labour cards.”
He added that the linking will prevent all such fraud and will also identify companies that are violating the laws of residence and labour by recruiting absconding workers.
Bin Deemas explained that the electronic link allows a company owner to send request for and receive visas electronically.
It also allows cancellation of the labor card and the facility to deport the same day – provided that the owner of the facility has electronic signature card, the worker shouldn’t have any fines, and also that the employer would have paid all the dues of the worker, said Bin Deemas.
He added that with the completion of the second phase of the project which is in implementation currently, the reports of absconding workers will be included in the database, helping authorities in establishing if a particular is still within the UAE or has left the country.
It will also allow the Ministry of the Interior to control any fraud carried out by the owner of an establishment with so-called visas traders.
Bin Deemas pointed out that some employers were applying false documents to the Residency & Foreign Affairs Department declaring abolition of work permits to workers they already have and at the same time applying for visas for other people.
He noted that the electronic link between the ministries of Labour and the Interior will make it impossible to pass any of these cases.
The electronic link will also save time and effort for applicants and reduce the number of applicants at the ministries of Labour and the Interior.