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UAE launches app for Indians seeking work visas

The app provides guidelines and directions to make the journey safe and hassle-free. It is meant to work like a map with key waypoints along with guidelines to complete a particular process, such as the mandatory medical checkup, attestation of documents and police clearance certificate.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2018 19:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
United Arab Emirates,smartphone app,work visas
Currently available in Hindi and English for Android platforms, the app will soon be rolled out in Malayalam.(Representative photo)

The United Arab Emirates has launched a smartphone app for Indians seeking work visas that is aimed at streamlining the process and completing most of the procedures in India so that the applicants can make a hassle-free entry into the workforce.

Currently available in Hindi and English for Android platforms, the app will soon be rolled out in Malayalam in view of the large number of people from Kerala who apply for work visas.

“Much of the procedures that were earlier done in the UAE are now done here. The app will facilitate visa applications and make things easier,” UAE ambassador Ahmed Al Banna said on Monday.

The app provides guidelines and directions to make the journey safe and hassle-free. It is meant to work like a map with key waypoints along with guidelines to complete a particular process, such as the mandatory medical checkup, attestation of documents and police clearance certificate.

“Earlier the checks were done in the UAE, now they are done in India. We want to cut down the hardships for India and the applicants can now start working within a day of arriving in the UAE,” said Al Banna.

The UAE currently has three visa centres in India — Delhi, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram — and the one in the national capital alone issued about 50,000 work visas last year. A total of 1.6 million Indians visited the UAE last year, while Indian visitors to Dubai alone crossed the 1-million mark during January-September 2017.

The UAE is home to an Indian expatriate community of more than 2.6 million, the largest in the country. Professionally qualified workers make up about 20% of the community, followed by 20% white-collar non-professionals and the remainder are blue-collar workers.

Al Banna also said the two countries were close to a major breakthrough in resolving the problems linked to investments by DP World, a leading operator of marine and inland ports. The problems linked to investments by Etisalat and Emaar are still being looked at, he said.

“In the case of DP World, we are almost on the edge of sorting out the technical issues,” he said, with giving details.

Al Banna’s remarks coincided with Dubai-based DP World and India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIF) announcing that they had created a fund to invest up to $3 billion of equity in the transport and logistics sectors of India.

In the case of Etisalat, which had exited its India operations in 2012 after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 mobile licences in the 2G spectrum case, Al Banna said a high level committee was “going deeper into the issues and hopefully, it will be sorted out soon”.

The “legacy issues” faced by Etisalat, Emaar and DP World had been taken up at the meeting of the India-UAE task force on investment in Abu Dhabi on January 14. The meeting, chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al Nahyan and commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, also discussed new business opportunities, including planned investments of about $1.5 billion from the UAE in logistics, dry ports and port management.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 19:22 IST