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    Thursday, 14 June 2018

    UAE relaxes visa rules for foreign workers, E-visa introduced by Oman

    The UAE has announced new visa rules covering residents and tourists, and has also introduced an insurance scheme to replace bank guarantees when recruiting workers in the private sector.
    The new regulations were adopted during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Dubai’s ruler.
    VISA CHANGES
    * All transit passengers will also be granted exemption from entry fees for the first 48 hours. They can further extend the transit visa for up to 96 hours for a fee of Dhs50. The visa will be available at a number of express counter at the passport-control hall across UAE airports.
    * The Cabinet also adopted a decision to grant people overstaying their visa a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a “no entry” passport stamp.
    * Those who entered the UAE illegally will also be allowed to leave voluntarily with a “no entry” stamp for two years given that they provide a valid return ticket.
    * The Cabinet also approved a new legislative package, as part of which a two-year extension of the residency will be granted to dependents of their parents after finishing their university studies.
    * A new six-month visa will be introduced for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country.
    NO MORE BANK GUARANTEES
    The Cabinet has also abolished the mandatory deposit of Dhs3,000 per worker which has to be paid by private companies, and has replaced it with a new insurance scheme that costs Dhs60 annually per worker.
    The insurance policy will cover the workers’ entitlements in terms of end of service benefits, vacation allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, worker’s return ticket and cases of work injury – in which the coverage amounts to Dhs20,000 per worker.
    The newly created scheme is hoped to secure workers’ rights in the private sector and reduce the burden on employers.
    It will also allows businesses to recover approximately Dhs14bn, representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, Sheikh Mohammed said.During its meeting, the Cabinet also adopted a resolution on to grant ‘people of determination’ access to the job market. It also decided to host the headquarters of the Asian Paralympic Committee in the UAE to serve as a unique sports hub in Asia and to provide training courses and workshops.
    * People in the UAE will alsOman has launched a new e-visa service as part of efforts to increase the number of international tourists.
    Those planning to visit the GCC state can apply online for visas by submitting their applications on a government website (www.evisa.rop.gov.om).
    Visitors will then need to fill up the form online and attach the necessary documents as well as pay the application fee by credit card through a Global Payment Gateway that is officially certified by Oman.
    All applicants will receive notifications through the emails provided.
    In the first phase, the system will be applicable for non-sponsored tourist visas for people from 67 countries as well as GCC residents employed in 116 professions.
    The move is particularly hoped to target tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the US, a statement said.
    Oman has launched a new e-visa service as part of efforts to increase the number of international tourists.
    Those planning to visit the GCC state can apply online for visas by submitting their applications on a government website (www.evisa.rop.gov.om).
    Visitors will then need to fill up the form online and attach the necessary documents as well as pay the application fee by credit card through a Global Payment Gateway that is officially certified by Oman.
    All applicants will receive notifications through the emails provided.
    In the first phase, the system will be applicable for non-sponsored tourist visas for people from 67 countries as well as GCC residents employed in 116 professions.
    The move is particularly hoped to target tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the US, a statement said.
    “The Sultanate’s announcement of the eVisa system will ensure the continuous growth of Oman’s tourism sector in the coming years as this provides not only tourists but also investors, businessmen, researchers and students easier access to visa processing,” said Salim Adi Al Mamari, director general of Tourism Promotion at Oman’s Ministry of Tourism.
    “Last year, the number of tourist arrivals reached three million and it is expected to increase to more than four million by 2020,” he added.
    The introduction of the e-visa system comes after Oman quadrupled the cost of short stay tourist visas in April this year.
    Tourists are now be required to pay OMR20 ($52) for a short stay visa – up from the previous amount of OMR5 ($13).
    However, the length of stay for the visa has also been increased from 10 days to a month, with further extensions possible.

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