Expatriates, workers and business owners praised for its new 30-minute visa application facility, which represents a big step forward.
The first of its kind, “Salem Intelligent Center,” was launched in Dubai on Thursday following Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chair of the Executive Council in Dubai.
The centre will significantly reduce the processing time for medical examination from registration to issuance of residency visa to 30 minutes from 28 hours.
Hafeed OP, a businessman who runs a chain of restaurants in the UAE, said: “For upcoming businesses like mine, which are labour intensive, this is surely a blessing.” Hafeed’s company employs a total of 12 people. “When we apply for a new visa or renew an existing one, there is a one-week waiting period for the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation approvals, after waiting two to three days for medical fitness test results,” he said.
During this time, the new employee cannot be put under employment as hefty fines will be levied on the company. “Mostly, our staff would wait in their accommodation camps till approvals came along and we cannot hire anyone else to fill the gap. So, our work suffers,” said Hafeed.
However, with the new facility, businesses like Hafeed’s can process paperwork of his employees within one or two days after they land from their home country. “In under an hour, we can put the new employee to training and work. It is a huge blessing. It also removes anxiety from the minds of the employee as well,” he said.