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UAE opens its first visa issuing centre outside the country in...

By Wam

Acting UAE Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Mir Al Raisi has inaugurated the country’s first consular section and visa issuance centre outside UAE in a ceremony in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, in the presence of Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Gamini Lakshman Peiris.

In his inauguration remarks, Al Raisi expressed appreciation for the efforts to develop the bilateral relations between UAE and Sri Lanka, in various spheres, and emphasised that the opening of the consular section and the visa issuance centre is aimed at strengthening consular relations and improving customer service and facilitating procedures for workers' entry to UAE through eGates at entry points as well as following the best practices in this field.

Minister Peiris described the opening of the facility represents an historic moment in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Sri Lankan minister also hailed the system used in the visa issuance centre as one of the most efficient in the world as it saves time.

The new visa centre serves 500 customers every day and uses passport authentication and biometrics such as fingerprints, eyeprints and faceprints, and medical tests conducted at 15 Sri Lankan centres accredited by U.A.E. Ministry of Health, in order to identity, and prevent entry of individuals with contagious disease.

The procedures will save costs of recruitment, quarantine and deportation and improve customer service as they are aimed at providing excellent consular services fulfilling internationally recognised standards.

Through the new visa issuance centre, MoFA will provide all related administrative services in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, (MoI) using a fully-integrated electronic system within an advanced framework of security controls aimed at achieving maximum protection for visa and entry procedures.

Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare, Dilan Perera, Minister of Rural Affairs, Athauda Seneviratne, UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Abdul Fattah Kazim Al Mulla, Director of Consular Services at MoFA, Ahmed Elham Al Daheri, Acting Director of Government Communications and Media Affairs at MoFA, Maryam Al Falasi, and Director of Visa Issuance Centre in Colombo, Usama Abdullah Al Ali, attended the inauguration ceremony.