Dubai cuts visa process from 30 days to five

City looks to slash red tape to attract investors and businesses

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., October 29, 2018.  Two days from the deadline of UAE Amnesty.  Amnesty seekers at the Tasheel centre at Al Raha mall.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Haneen Dajani
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Dubai's authorities said they have cut the time it takes to process residency visas and work documents as part of a new efficiency drive.

The process of bringing a new employee on board is being slashed from 30 days to just five.

The number of documents they are required to show has also been cut, from 16 to five.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, set out the plan on Wednesday.

He said the "Zero Bureaucracy" plan is aimed at "streamlining procedures and enhancing efficiency" in government.

"Today marks the inaugural launch of the Employment Package, a pioneering project designed to expedite, simplify, and streamline the processes related to residency and employment."

The services include issuing work and residency permits for new employees, renewing a residency permit, medical fitness test for a residency visa, cancelation of work permits and Emirates ID fingerprint scan.

Whereas the platform is entirely online, medical checks and fingerprint scanning will still need to be performed in person.

Invest in Dubai

The initiative is part of the Invest in Dubai platform, which will provide services to more than 275,000 companies in Dubai in its first phase.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised the number of days the new platform would save in terms of labour hours spent going through the process.

"The Employment Package is set to reclaim 62 million working days previously devoted to the renewal of residencies and employment contracts within [the] government framework," he said.

"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 via https://workinuae.ae.

Collaboration across departments

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

Normally, a separate visit to each department, whether in person or online, would be needed when processing a new employee.

Lt Gen Mohammed Al Marri, general director of GDRFA-Dubai, said they are expecting a 25 per cent increase in the services transactions this year after launching the new platform.

“It is one form to issue new or renewal of residency for an employee. The new package will reduce the service’s steps as well as the visits,” Lt Gen Al Marri said.

“With the help of AI in the service's transaction and without human intervention, the time [for processing] was reduced by more than 75 per cent.”

Updated: March 06, 2024, 9:58 AM