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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Process Changes in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Creative Clusters Authority - UPDATED

, 07/11/2017

In Abu Dhabi, the original Emirates ID of the sponsor is now required in support of visa applications for dependent family members. The immigration authorities scan the original Emirates ID to check whether the sponsor is currently out of the country, and reject the application if the sponsor is not in the UAE at the time of application submission.


Meanwhile, the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) free zone has announced several rule changes:

Instead of collecting entry visas on arrival at the airport, employees will receive e-visas by email. However, this new process has not yet been fully implemented.
Visa holders who need to amend their visa details (e.g. name, nationality, occupation or employer) must now make a separate application, instead of including the amendment in a visa renewal or transfer application.
DCCA has removed the Internal Visa Transfer option for foreign employees transferring to a new employer within the DCCA. Employees in this situation now need to use the “Government Transfer” option, which requires a medical test and security check test (unlike the Internal Visa Transfer option).
For in-country employment visa cancellations, original documents no longer need to be submitted physically to DCCA. Scanned copies of requirements will suffice to process the cancellation. Once the application is approved, a cancellation paper will be issued and sent to the company. This is only applicable if the employee is in the country at the time of visa cancellation.
New service fees have been implemented.

Action Items

Sponsors of dependent visa applications in Abu Dhabi should ensure that they are in the UAE at the time the application is submitted.
Employers of foreign nationals in the DCCA should take into account the recent changes when planning assignments and resources.