News Details

Immigration developments in the MENA Region

Sun, May 28, 2017

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United Arab Emirates

Indian nationals holding a U.S. visa or Green Card valid for a minimum of six months from the day of intended entry are now eligible for a single-entry visa-on-arrival in the UAE. The maximum allowable stay is 14 days, with a one-time extension for the same period of time. There is no cooling-off period for obtaining a consecutive visa. 

Travellers are required to pay a government fee of AED 100, and an extension will cost AED 250. In addition, travellers should hold a passport valid for a least six months.

Currently 49 nationalities are permitted entry to the UAE without applying for a visa before travelling and these visas are free of charge.

Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Interior has announced a 90-day amnesty for illegal foreign residents in Saudi Arabia whose visas have expired without being renewed or cancelled. Effective 29th March 2017, individuals staying in the country without valid immigration authorisation can regulate their status by leaving Saudi Arabia without facing penalties. Violators will be required to visit the nearest Ministry of Interior’s office and register their personal information. The amnesty will last for 90 days. 

Oman

The Ministry of Tourism has announced that select hotels and tour operators will soon be able to obtain visas on behalf of Chinese, Indian, Iranian and Russian passport holders travelling to Oman for tourism. Tourist visas in Oman do not allow for work or business activities.

The Ministry also announced that new categories of visas will be added to the existing e-visa system, which is currently being upgraded

Bahrain

The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has announced that foreign nationals with expired residence visas will soon be able to obtain a self-sponsored work permit, which will allow them to work temporarily for any company or individual in Bahrain for up to two years, with the possibility of renewal. Holders of the work permit will be able to work for more than one employer at the same time. Candidates will receive an ID card issued by the LMRA

The program will apply to low- and medium-skilled workers in any profession that does not require a professional license. Foreign nationals on expired visit visas and those with criminal charges will not be eligible for the work permit. Applicants will be required to cover government fees, submit a security deposit equal to the return airfare to their home country and obtain health insurance. 

It is expected that further details, including additional eligibility criteria and the start date of the program, will be announced in the upcoming weeks



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