What is the change? Immigration authorities in Dubai are now requiring that all documents submitted in support of visa applications be translated into Arabic.

What does the change mean? Documents in English are no longer accepted. The new policy applies to all applications submitted through a typing center, but primarily dependent visa applications.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Dependent residence visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are submitting supporting documents and whose original language is not Arabic.
  • Impact on processing times: The translation requirement adds to the document-gathering process.
  • Business impact: Employers should factor in additional time and cost to translate all supporting documents, such as birth and marriage certificates and others.

Background: Arabic translation of supporting documents has been a long-standing requirement in Abu Dhabi, but Dubai has adopted the rule in the past month for dependent visas. Previously, Dubai accepted documents in English.

BAL Analysis: To avoid delays in processing, employers and visa applicants should prepare to have all supporting documents translated into Arabic by a legal translator before they are submitted.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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