The General Directorate of Foreigners and Residents Affairs (GDFRA) Dubai has launched a new smart phone application that can help UAE nationals, residents and companies to avail of a number of services without visiting the immigration office.
Launching the smart phone application which now available for download, Major General Mohammed Ahmad Al Marri, director of GDFRA, said the new smart phone application will, among other things, enable residents, nationals and companies alike to apply for new visas for themselves, their families or employees, renew or cancel an existing visa and save the time needed for visiting service centres.
With smart phones becoming an integral part of techno-savvy residents in the UAE, more such innovative applications are in the pipeline, according to GDFRA officials.
Maj. Gen. Al Marri said, in the first phase, GDFRA will facilitate online visa or other document processing using smart phones for UAE nationals, residents and companies. Without the involvement of any manpower, the visa processing can be done within a few minutes and the service will be available 24 hours.
Dubai government aims to make government services available quickly and efficiently with the help of smart phones or tablets.
While in the first phase the GDFRA smart phone application will facilitate visa renewal and new visa application processing within five minutes, in the second phase 29 services from the department will be available through the new app.
The smart phone app can also be used for transactions with the Ministry of Labour.
“Residents can download the smart phone application and register their names with GDFRA. After registration, they will get an authentication code using their National Identification Card Number. The authentication code keeps changing and it is not possible to copy or misuse the system. It is very secure and residents or travelers can activate a barcode with their profile details on their mobile phones application to enter and exit the country through several e-gates and smart gates at the airport. The system will ease visa on arrival facility for international passengers,” Al Marri said.
Using the smart phone camera or scanner, users can send their photos and scanned copies of documents for processing.
By logging into the GDFRA application, a citizen or resident can review and update his profile. If everything is fine, there will be a green circle around the profile. If a resident’s visa is not renewed on time or visas of employees or dependents have expired, there will be a red circle around the user’s profile, alerting the user to clear the file.
Demonstrating the new app in front of journalists, UAE residents can log into the system and check the expiry date of their maid servant’s visa or visas of foreign wives, Captain Salim bin Ali, Customer Section Manager, said.
There are about 100 e-gates in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport and 14 smart gates in Terminal 3, through which travelers with the authorised mobile phone application can pass through after activating the barcodes.
“All residents can download the application and login to the system and update their basic information, especially the mobile phone numbers. Many residents have their company PRO’s mobile numbers which need to be updated. Each resident’s profile will be available online and by using a user name and password, they can verify what documents are not clear. After completing the processing through the smart phone application, customers can do the physical stamping of visa with the help of a courier service from the nearest service centre.
“Residents can renew their visas within five minutes and using the smart phone or tablet they can enter the UAE through smart gates. The visa fees can be paid through Visa or MasterCard,” Captain Bin Ali said.
There will be a month-long campaign to promote the new application with regular raffle draws including a grand raffle draw for a new car.
In the long run, a smart phone or tablet may as good as your passport.
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