Some individuals have been lured by fraudsters on social media
1 April 2019| Last updated on 1 April 2019
A top official this week has warned residents and visitors against being lured by false ads for UAE visas...
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) has warned individuals coming to Dubai and UAE to refrain from choosing illegal methods to obtain a visa and job in the country.
Dubious advertisers on social media platforms peddle fake visas and jobs on social media platforms, and these illegal companies or individuals using platforms like Facebook and Instagram are doing so against the law.
"We notice that people go to Facebook to get a UAE visa," Brigadier Khalaf Al Gaith, assistant director-general in charge of the Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section at the GDRFA told Gulf News.
"Social media platforms are not government sites. Many people are deceived by scamsters who take their money and provide them with fake visas."
Individuals who seek the help of these fraudsters are hoping for a fast and easy way out - but the reality is far from that. In fact, individuals who use these illegal services lose more money, as they pay more than the official fees.
Over 10,071 companies have been inspected by the GDRFA, including 584 tourist companies. 119 of these were fake.
Those found issuing fake UAE visas are liable to pay a fine of AED 10,000, followed by deportation. And the penalty for companies who hire illegal workers is AED 50,000 per worker.
How to apply for a UAE residency visa
Previously, applicants wishing to apply for a UAE visa were required to visit the Immigration Department, however since 2016, this is no longer the case.
The entire process is online - and can be done via the official GDRFA website. Once an application is submitted, individuals will be required to visit authorised typing centers to provide the required documents needed with the Immigration Department and Emirates ID Authority.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the Amer logo when visiting a typing center - this indicates that the typing center is approved for visa transactions by the relevant authorities.
How to check a UAE visa is valid
If your visa is genuine, it will show your visa status and expiry date.
“Go for trusted sources and the best way is to go through reliable companies or visit the Dubai Tourism website as they have a list of travel companies", Brig Al Gaith explained. “Go for trusted sources and the best way is to go through reliable companies or visit the Dubai Tourism website as they have a list of travel companies. They mention their contact numbers and they can help the visitor."
How to avoid UAE visa fraud
- Avoid and don't click on social media adverts that promise visit/residency visas or work permits in the UAE
- Use the verified channels to apply for an entry permit/visa from Dubai and UAE like the GDRFA website or app
- Verify your visa's validity at the GDRFA's website once obtained
- Tourist visas can be issued through UAE-based airlines, like Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia
- Tourist visas can also be issued through UAE-based hotels and travel agencies
- Use Dubai's Amer chat service by calling 8005111 to get help on visas and entry permits