No more running for visas

Following the Kish Airline crash in Sharjah, the Dubai government is scrapping visa runs for expatriate workers.

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By  John Irish Published  February 12, 2004

Expatriate workers in Dubai will no longer have to leave the country to renew their visas after a decree from the government today (February 12) called time on the current procedure. Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, claimed the move was in response to Tuesday’s plane crash in neighbouring Sharjah, which killed 43 people. The Iranian Kish Airline flight had predominantly been carrying workers returning to the United Arab Emirates after a short visa hop. Until today’s ruling, guest workers were required to leave the UAE to convert their tourist visas into resident visas. However, the new procedure will mean workers can now pay a fee to the government, rather than travelling to a neighbouring country. The new rules come into effect immediately. Meanwhile, two of the three surviving passengers are still in a critical condition. Although terrorism has been ruled out, UAE Civil Aviation Authority officials confirmed the black box and in-flight recorder would be sent to Europe for investigation.

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