Dubai slashes visa processing time from 30 days to 5 with less documents

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Travellers assemble! If you are hoping to move to or work in Dubai then we have great news for you, as authorities in the United Arab Emirates have reduced the processing time and the number of documents required for residency visas and work documents.

Previously, it took 30 days to bring a new employee on board but according to the new instructions, it will now take five days to do so with only five documents required instead of 16.

Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the plan as part of a new efficiency drive, “Zero Bureaucracy”, on Wednesday, The National reported.

Marking the inaugural launch of the “Employment Package”, Sheikh Muhammad said the project is “designed to expedite, simplify, and streamline” the processes of residency and employment.

The new plan offers services like “issuing work and residency permits for new employees, renewing a residency permit, medical fitness test for a residency visa, cancellation of work permits and Emirates ID fingerprint scan”.

The platform will be operated entirely online but medical checks and fingerprint scanning will still be performed in person.

The initiative is part of the Invest in Dubai platform, which will provide services to over 275,000 companies in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised the plan is “set to reclaim 62 million working days” spent going through the process.

“This project is expected to curtail 25 million procedures on an annual basis, thereby yielding substantial savings for both the governmental and private sectors.”

The new platform will soon be available for companies in other emirates.

The entities collaborating in the platform are Dubai Health, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Dubai Economy and Tourism, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA).

The initiative also saves any new employee from visiting each department separately, whether in person or online, as previously required for the process.

Lieutenant General Mohammed Al Marri, general director of GDRFA-Dubai, said they expect a 25% increase in the services transactions this year after launching the new platform.