Reforms in immigration law aimed at curbing violations: UAE

June 11th, 2008 - 11:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, June 11 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said the recent amendments in the immigration and residency law were aimed at preventing people violating the country’s laws, WAM news agency reported Wednesday quoting a top official. The amendments were made to ensure that no one violates the rules of the country, Brigadier Nasser Awad Al Manhali, director general of the Residency and Naturalization Department in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, said adding that the changes would not affect the tourism industry of the country.

Al Manhali said the move was also meant to check instances of illegal visa trade.

Allaying concerns by tourism offices, the official said: “Tourism offices will not be affected by this decision. On the contrary, their activities will see a greater boom because more visas will now be obtained through the offices concerned rather than through individuals and companies which have no relations with tourism activities.”

According to the new rules, travel companies are required to deposit a guarantee money of 1,000 dirhams (around $273) to obtain the tourist visa for foreigners seeking to visit the country.

Justifying the new rule, the official said this guarantee money would be returned to the companies as soon as the visitor leaves the country.

He further explained that the financial guarantee of 1,000 dirhams would only be applicable on nationals of certain countries.

“Instances of violations of residency and immigration law are higher among nationals of certain countries. Records of violations will be thoroughly examined and if the applicant of the tourist visa hails from countries with higher violation records, then a financial guarantee will be required,” he said.

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