What is the change? The United Arab Emirates has made it easier for Indian and Philippine nationals to obtain police clearance certificates when applying for visas in the UAE.

What does the change mean? Indian and Philippine nationals will now be able to obtain police clearance certificates through their embassies and consulates in the UAE, rather than in India or the Philippines. The change will save in-country applicants significant time in the visa application process because they will not have to travel out of the UAE in order to obtain the necessary documentation.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and mission visas.
  • Who is affected: Indian and Philippine nationals applying for work or mission visas in the UAE.
  • Impact on processing time: The change will save affected applicants the time it takes to travel home in order to obtain a police clearance certificate. Applicants should nonetheless be sure to leave adequate time to apply for and obtain a certificate at their consulate and to have it attested at the UAE embassy in their home country.

Background: Authorities announced the new requirement in January, saying it was being taken as a security measure. In general, applicants are required to obtain their police clearance certificate in their home country and any country in which they have resided in the past five years. A workaround is available for Indian and Philippine nationals, however, who may now obtain the certificate at their embassies and consulates in the UAE.

Indian nationals may do so by applying through BLS International services UAE, which then forwards the application to the relevant Indian authorities. Philippine nationals may do so by applying directly at a Philippines embassy or consulate in the UAE.

BAL Analysis: The change will simplify the police clearance process for Indian and Philippine nationals who are applying for work or mission visas in the UAE. Applicants should note, however, that they may have to obtain an additional police clearance certificate if they have lived somewhere besides their home country and the UAE in the past five years.

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

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