Qatar extends the validity of visitors' Hayya Cards
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has announced the extension on the validity of Hayya Card for fans and organizers, which was applied during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
MOI clarified in a statement that holders of this Card among visitors would be allowed to enter the State of Qatar from yesterday until January 24, 2024. However, the cardholders wishing to enter the country must have proof of hotel reservation or appropriate accommodation approved with the online Hayya portal as well as a passport valid for at least three months upon arrival.
Incoming travelers must have a return ticket on them as well as health insurance valid for the duration of their stay in Qatar, the ministry added.
Ejari no longer required for dependent visa applications in Dubai
The Ejari is no longer a need to start or renew a dependant visa application, according to GDRFA authorities. In some circumstances, Ejari is necessary, and they must present the document for the dependents visa to be issued (Ex. Sponsoring parents)
Saudi Arabia Starts Issuing Free 4-Day Stopover Transit Visa
Saudi Arabia launched the service of issuing electronic Stop-over Transit Visa for international visitors arriving in the Kingdom by air for all purposes, effective from Monday, Jan. 30.
The visa holders can stay in the Kingdom for four days and the duration of the visa is three months. The visa is free of cost and it will be issued instantly along with the flight ticket. The ministry launched the service in coordination with the relevant authorities and in cooperation with the Saudi national airlines.
The Transit visa allows transit passengers, who wish to enter Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah in addition to traveling inside the Kingdom, as well as all leisure, Business and tourism events.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that applications for transit visas can be submitted through the electronic platforms of Saudi Arabian Airlines and Flynas.
This will automatically be passed to the Unified National Visa Platform at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to process and issue the digital visa immediately and send it to the beneficiary via e-mail.
The ministry confirms that the digital Transit Visa service will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by strengthening the Kingdom’s position and benefiting from its distinguished strategic location connecting various continents, and attractive station for transit passengers as well as a global tourist destination.
Senegal Accession to Hague Apostille Convention
Senegal will become the 124th member to accede to the Convention abolishing the requirements of legalization for Foreign Public documents, commonly referred to as the “Apostille Convention” or the “Hague Convention”. The Apostille Convention facilitates the use of public documents abroad by replacing the often long and costly legalization process with the issuance of a simple Apostille Certificate to be accepted in the 123 member countries. In the near future, to certify Senegalese documents, it will be enough to stamp them with an apostille instead of going through the complicated procedure of consular legalization. In addition, the Senegalese authorities will begin to accept on their territory, without additional authentication procedures, foreign documents previously apostilled by the states that issued them. According to media reports, one of the factors that forced the Senegalese authorities to speed up the decision on the question of accession to the Convention was the presence of a large diaspora of representatives of the local population abroad. According to various estimates, there are currently between 550,000 and 2.5 million Senegalese citizens abroad who are constantly struggling to legalize documents. Senegal will formally ratify the Apostille Convention on March 23, 2023. From that point forward, contracting parties are required to recognize apostilles issued by designated competent body and forgo the need for legalization for public papers issued by Senegalese authorities. Apostilles issued by the competent authorities of other contracting parties must also be accepted by Senegalese authorities for incoming overseas public papers. Individuals should anticipate that short delays may arise in Senegal with obtaining such documents and with the acceptance of apostille-ed documents at Senegalese consular posts in other Hague member countries throughout the implementation of new apostille processes in conformity with the treaty.
Pakistan Accession to Hague Apostille Convention
Pakistan will become the 123rd member to accede to the Convention abolishing the requirements of legalization for Foreign Public documents, commonly referred to as the “Apostille Convention” or the “Hague Convention”. The Apostille Convention facilitates the use of public documents abroad by replacing the often long and costly legalization process with the issuance of a simple Apostille Certificate to be accepted in the 122 member countries. This one-step process reduces time and cost by avoiding additional certification or legalization at an embassy or consulate of the foreign/destination country. Apostilled documents are commonly needed for business, immigration or legal transactions being conducted in a member jurisdiction to the Convention. Pakistan will formally ratify the Apostille Convention on March 9, 2023. From that point forward, contracting parties are required to recognize apostilles issued by designated competent body and forgo the need for legalization for public papers issued by Pakistani authorities. Apostilles issued by the competent authorities of other contracting parties must also be accepted by Pakistani authorities for incoming overseas public papers. Individuals should anticipate that short delays may arise in Pakistan with obtaining such documents and with the acceptance of apostille-ed documents at Pakistani consular posts in other Hague member countries throughout the implementation of new apostille processes in conformity with the treaty.
Grace period for changing unlimited job contracts extended
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has announced that the deadline for correcting the current conditions granted to employers, especially regarding the transfer of work contracts concluded and signed between workers and employers, will be extended from indefinite-term employment contracts to fixed-term employment contracts until December 31, 2023.
90-day visit visas available only in specific circumstances
Currently, nation-wide, Visit visas for the general public are only available for 30 and 60 days. However, 90-day visas can still be issued under certain conditions. One of that is the medical tourism visa or a job exploration visa available for those wishing to stay for 90 days. Granted to those classified in the first, second, or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre).
Increase in costs of UAE visas & Emirates ID
There has been an increase in the cost of issuing Emirates ID and visas in the UAE. Its prices have increased by Dh100, according to a customer service representative at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP).
PCR Tests are no longer required for EID Biometrics
The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security no longer requires a negative PCR test to allow entry into their facilities for biometric enrollment.
Complete residency transactions via video calls
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) has announced that residents of Dubai can now use video conferencing to inquire about missing papers and finish visa applications. On Wednesday, the project's pilot phase began.
Visitors with expired visa can get outpass to exit country
Visitors overstaying in the UAE must pay fines for the number of extra days after visa expiry and need to obtain an out pass or leave permit by paying up to Dh300 at the airports or the immigration office at the land borders.
Involuntary Loss of Employment Scheme
The mandatory scheme, which was recently announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation can now be subcribed via various channels such as the smart application ILOE, kiosk machines, Al Ansari exchange and bank ATMs. Workers in free zones are not currently covered by the unemployment insurance (ILOE) Investors or owners of establishments, domestic workers, temporary contract workers, juveniles under 18 years, and retirees are considered as exempted categories for the scheme. All eligible employees have a grace period until 30 June 2023 to subscribe in the ILOE. Also please note that if the employee was employed at a date later than 1st January, 2023, will have a grace period of 4 months to subscribe, starting from the day he landed in the UAE or the day of status change.
For more information, employees can visit - https://www.iloe.ae/
No visit visa extensions from within the country
According to the most recent information from the immigration departments in UAE, visitors would no longer be able to switch from one visit visa to another. Those with a visiting visa but wanting to continue staying in the country must exit the UAE and then reenter on a new visit visa. Visitors have the option of extending their visas for one month at a cost.
Saudi Arabia Accession to Hague Apostille Convention
Saudi Arabia officially became the 122nd member to accede to the Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, commonly referred to as the “Apostille Convention”. The new procedure shortens processing timelines and avoids challenging legalization processes at consulates, streamlining recruitment and immigration processing for Saudi Arabian employers and foreign citizens. Additionally, it simplifies the immigration procedures for citizens of Saudi Arabia in the other 121 Hague members. However, when the new procedure is introduced at all consulates, people can anticipate brief delays. The recognition and acceptance of apostilles in Saudi Arabia is for all of the practical challenges that the participants in cross-border transactions involving Saudi Arabia sometimes face. For example, if a document is notarized in, and comes to Saudi Arabia from, a country that is not a signatory state to the Apostille Convention (for example, Canada and the People's Republic of China are two of the bigger gaps in the list of signatory states as it currently stands), it will still be necessary to use the older legalization system. Also, the changeover from legalization to apostilles does not remove the requirement in Saudi Arabia to have documents that are executed in a language other than Arabic translated into Arabic by a court-licensed translator, in order to be admissible in the Saudi Arabian court system. Regardless, the recognition and acceptance of apostilles in Saudi Arabia is a very welcome step forward as the country increasingly aligns its legal procedures with international practices. In so doing, Saudi Arabia becomes ever more accessible for cross-border transactions. We have not yet heard back from many locations to confirm whether they switched from consular legalization to apostille. The conventional method of attesting documents from Saudi Embassy will be replaced by an Apostille sticker if the origin is also part of the Apostille convention eg: UK to Saudi Arabia, Russia to Saudi Arabia, India to Saudi Arabia. However, there is no change if the origin is not part of Apostille convention eg: Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon to Saudi Arabia. We are keeping an eye on the modifications and will soon provide further details and instructions.
Medical fitness test required for Mission visa applications in ICA
As per the latest update from ICA an additional requirement for an complete Medical Fitness Test Certificate is mandatory in order to proceed and issue the mission visa entry permit.
Embassy of Saudi in Lebanon does not legalize educational documents for visa applicants from outside Lebanon
UAE Consulate in Toronto, Canada ceased operations and documents from all provinces are legalized by the Embassy in Ottawa
UAE Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic does not do super legalization and directs everyone to the embassy located in Vienna