DUBAI - UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted major changes in UAE visa rules on Wednesday.
Adopting to changing of times"This is a big respite for us, expatriates including Pakistanis, who come here seeking employment," Celestial told *Khaleej Times*. "This new visa scheme will definitely elevate the UAE 's position as a land of opportunities and a magnet for talents and professionals." A new six-month visa will be introduced for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The UAE Cabinet will also allow individuals wishing to adjust or renew their visa to do so for a fee, without having to leave and re-enter the country.
Barney Almazar, director of corporate-commercial department at Gulf Law Middle East, added: "These recent Cabinet decisions prove that the UAE government is not deaf to the needs of the present times, taking into consideration the changes in international situation, technological advancements, economic conditions and social mores."
Incidentally, Almazar recently helped a mother with three kids get a reprieve from a hefty overstaying fine that has reached a staggering Dh712,400.
"It became too much to bear for the family but there was no legal framework to plead the case and we appealed purely on humanitarian grounds that the mother was a victim of an unscrupulous fixer," Almazar explained.
"Now there will be clear-cut guidelines to resolve cases like this. The new rules will eliminate or reduce the need for 'fixers' as the process will be straightforward," Almazar underlined.
He added: "Moreover, the simplified and straightforward rules especially on overstaying expats would encourage those who are illegally staying to amend their visa status."
"Before, those who were overstaying had no way to legitimise their stay in the country other than appealing on humanitarian considerations and the confusing rules, lack of adequate information and understanding of the laws made them fearful to act on their situation. Now, we have a legal basis for them to secure their residency status," Almazar explained.
David John, managing director at David John Management Consultancies, said people who come to the UAE on the pretext of being tourists but are actually seeking employment can now "genuinely come to the UAE with the real purpose of looking for jobs."
"Their conscience will be clear and they will no longer be fearful that what they're doing is illegal," he added.