It's official: Tenancy contract must for visa renewal across UAE

The UAE on Tuesday ended confusion surrounding new residence visa requirements and confirmed that expatriate applicants must produce a tenancy contract for the renewal of their visas.

The Ministry of Interior, reacting to a flood of queries from the public, said the new rule has been enforced in Abu Dhabi and would also be implemented in all other emirates. It said applicants could either submit a tenancy contract in their name or sponsor or a utility bill for their apartment.

“This decision affects all expatriates in the country….it has been enforced in Abu Dhabi and will be enforced in all other emirates….applicants for a visa renewal must now produce a tenancy contract or a water or electricity bill showing their address,” said Major General Nassir Al Minhali, the Ministry’s assistant undersecretary for naturalization and residence.

“Those working at companies which provide them with collective accommodation must present a proof of their residence, an address and a letter from the employer showing where he resides.”

In a statement sent to Emirates 24/7, Minhali said the new rule is intended to allow authorities to locate their residence as “addresses given in previous applications are not clear or accurate.”

He said those sharing accommodation must also present proof of their residence by submitting a tenancy contract or utility bill in their names.

“The decision is primarily aimed at verifying residence of all expatriates living in the UAE for security and procedural reasons…it is a security, administrative and service decision taken by the immigration and foreign affairs departments in the country,” he said.

“The decision is not targetting any party or property group but it will serve those departments seeking accurate data about foreigners’ residences…this measure is not exclusive for the UAE as it is enforced in all advanced countries.”

DNRD Clarifies

Earlier on Tuesday a Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) official clarified that an attested copy of the tenancy contract and utility bill in the name of the sponsor is still needed in Dubai and the northern emirates for residence visa renewal.

He was clarifying a Tuesday morning Abu Dhabi newspaper report that said such documents were not needed in emirate of Abu Dhabi for visa renewal.

The DNRD and Immigration Departments in the northen emirates received from the UAE Ministry of Interior a notice dated 15 May 2012 confirming the current procedure.

Until Tuesday afternoon, no further communication had been received amending the 15th May notice.

After receiving the 15th May communication, Dubai set up a section to verify the house contract and utility bills. The section is working smoothly and checks the number of rooms in the sponsor's house with the number of dependents listed in the immigration department, said the official.

The 2-point notice dealt with renewal residence visas for expatriates and stated that they have to bring Rent or Tenancy Contract and the last bill from the electricity and water supplier from the emirate where they stay.

These have to be in the name of the sponsor.

The second point said dealt with sponsors family and dependents in the first degree such as wife, children, borther, parents, sister etc and housemaids.

Their details such as passport number, place and date of issue and expiry have to be included in the application form.

The official believes that the news reports are incorrect which say tenancy contract requirement has been cancelled in Abu Dhabi.

He said any decision taken by the ministry is taken after studies and research as the issue deals with 203 nationalities, their cultures and way of life.

He said the 15th May decision is logical. "If anyone wants to bring in their father, mother or sisters and brothers, they must have enough rooms to live in. There is no logic to sponsor a housemaid if there is no room in your house. It is also not logical or safe to bring in sisters or wives if the accommodation is being shared with other men," he pointed out.

Documents Required

The residence visa renewal requires photocopies of the passports of the sponsor and the person; salary certificate; tenancy contract, utility bill.

the tenancy contract must explain how many rooms the house has. Both the rent/tenancy contract and utility bill has to be attested by the respective municipality and utility service provider of the emirate where the sponsor lives.

In humanitarian cases, for those who work in Dubai Government, the salary has to be not less than Dh9,000 plus accommodation. They also have to have bank statement of 3 recent months; the house must have at least 2 rooms, utility bill plus a gurantee deposit of Dh5,000.

If the person is not related in first degree such as an uncle or aunt, a certificate proving the relationship must be provided.

Image from Shutterstock

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