The UAE’s Ministry of Interior has launched a new smart services system that will allow nationals and residents apply for entry permits and residency visas within 10 minutes.
The new service, called ‘E-Channels’ is being undertaken by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs and covers the visa and residence services.
The ministry has partnered with Tahaluf Al Emarat Technical Solutions to develop the system, which will enable companies and individuals – including UAE and GCC nationals and residents, to easily apply for nationality and residence services online.
Those wishing to avail the service need to register at the E-Channels website (https://echannels.moi.gov.ae) and can then opt for the required service.
Under the system, UAE nationals can sponsor individuals; GCC citizens can apply for new visa permits; and UAE residents can apply for new visas, and renew or cancel existing ones. They can undertake the process on their own or also approach typing centres on their behalf.
A payment gateway has also linked to the platform.
The new system has been launched under the slogan ‘Smart Services with Future Vision’ and will “guarantee speed and accuracy in the visa and residence permits issuing process, and will eliminate the need for its users to go in person to service centres throughout the UAE”, official news agency WAM reported.
It will also remove the requirement for hard copies of documents.
The system is expected to provide clear and simple instructions and with the visa processes estimated to be completed within 10 minutes, according to reports.
It aims to reduce the need for customers to visit government centres by 80 per cent by 2018, said Colonel Mansour Ahmed Al Dhaheri, director-general of the Residence and Foreigners Affairs Directorate in Abu Dhabi.
He also said that the system will connect government authorities that provide visa and residence services, to promote cohesion between relevant entities.
The system will also include “new features that are not available in any other country”, such as its ability to automatically read official documents electronically, use fingerprint technology to identify people, and process routine requests, such as auditing, accounting, governance and quality control, the WAM report added.