News Details

Immigration developments in the MENA Region

Sun, March 18, 2018


United Arab Emirates

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has implemented stricter requirements for typing of labour-related applications at Tash’eel Service Centres across the UAE. With immediate effect, original Emirates ID Card of the company representative must be submitted with the original e-signatory card of the authorised signatory for every application typing procedure. Additionally, before the application can be processed by the typing centre, the sponsoring entity must provide a password that MOHRE sends to a mobile number that the sponsoring entity registered in the MOHRE’s system. Previously, only the original e-signatory card was required for the application typing process.


The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA Free Zone) has announced that effective 1 January 2018, applicants processing new employment residence permits and renewing their existing permits, will be required to present their original documents during medical examination appointment. A dedicated courier service for documents’ collection will be discontinued.


Effective immediately, Grenadian passport holders are eligible for a long-term multiple-entry visitor visa-on-arrival. The visa allows for a maximum stay of up to 90 days, and it is valid for six months from the date of issue. It is stamped at the entry port free of charge.


The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has requested companies using Fawri portal to immediately register with the E-Channels portal to allow the processing of all immigration applications, as the Fawri portal will be discontinued in the coming days. The new requirement does not apply to companies in the Emirate of Dubai where applications continue to be processed through the e-DNRD portal. In the majority of free zones, companies are required to utilise electronic portals of the respective free zone authority hence are not affected by this change.


Employment sponsorship transfer from one employer to another can now be initiated through the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) electronic portal. Previously, employers had to prepare a manual application for the MOM to pre-approve the request. Once the sponsorship transfer is approved, the new employer will receive a notification and the foreign national will be able to complete a blood test and obtain a Resident Card issued by the Directorate General of Civil Status.


Foreign nationals travelling to Iraq on an employment entry visa must complete their post-arrival immigration formalities (including blood test) and obtain a multi-entry-exit visa within a maximum of 15 working days from their date of arrival, instead of seven calendar days, as was previously required. Foreign nationals who have obtained their multi-entry-exit visa before arrival through the Iraqi consular post abroad are exempt from this process.


Effective immediately, exit visa requests must be submitted with the respective Ministry of Interior’s Directorates of Residence ahead of the foreign national’s departure from Iraq. Previously, foreign nationals obtained exit visas at the immigration counters at the international airports in Federal Iraq, including airports in Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Foreign nationals whose entry visas and multi-entry-exit visas expired before 27 November 2017 can obtain their exit visa at the airport, according to the old process.


The Ministry of Interior has announced that visa invitation letters (visa approval letters) issued after 19 December 2017 will have a validity of 90 days only, instead of the previous rule that allowed the validity to correspond to the validity of the pre-approved entry visa. The invitation letters of foreign nationals who fail to use them within 90 days of issue will be deemed cancelled and the sponsoring company will have to obtain a new authorisation. Individuals travelling on expired invitation letter will be denied entry to Iraq.

About Fragomen

Fragomen is recognized as the world’s leading immigration services firm. We provide comprehensive services for short-term and long-term international assignments, permanent transfers and the local hire of foreign workers. Our knowledge of international legal, regulatory and policy issues allows us to provide our clients with strategic advice and effective and efficient immigration solutions to assist them in achieving and maintaining a competitive edge in the global marketplace. No other firm can match our size, scope, talent or resources. With more than 2,400 immigration professionals throughout over 40 strategically located offices across 20 countries, we offer the highest caliber of migration services available on a global, regional or country basis. Our expansive global network is cohesively unified and connected through use of our proprietary, immigration-specific technology.

Visit our website or contact us at to learn more about our company and services.