DUBAI, 8 May — The UAE government yesterday started imposing a 2,000 dirham deposit or bond on sponsors of people who come to the country on a visit visa.
The rules governing this bond requirement, announced by the Ministry of Interior, however, are not clear as yet. It is not stipulated how the deposit is going to be handled or whether it will also cover people who come on transit visas, usually given to select nationalities at the airport, the Gulf News said in a report yesterday.
According to the Immigration and Residency Department at the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi, the 2,000 dirham bond is being imposed to lessen the abuse of visit visas, especially by people who come for extended periods of time looking for jobs. The ministry supervises the immigration and naturalization departments in the seven emirates.
In theory, once the visitor leaves and proof is presented of his or her exit, the money can be refunded.
Sources from the naturalization and residency departments in Ajman, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi said they would impose the "visitor bond" following the ministry directive.
The visitor visa deposit must be deposited in a bank, and the person sponsoring a visitor must present a bank letter or slip bearing evidence of the amount deposited.
Sources from the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, however, said they have not received any official instructions about the bond yet.
An Interior Ministry source said visit visas are issued to everybody if their sponsors meet certain requirements, including salary limits. Visas are routinely issued to any nationality as long as they are not on a blacklist or have a previous criminal record.
The source explained that the sponsor would be required to pay the deposit 2,000 dirhams for each visa.
"This deposit is to ensure that the visitors will leave the country when their entry permit expires and that they are not staying illegally in the country. It will not be refunded in case they overstay the visa period unless a fine for overstaying is paid," said the source.