What is the change? The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai has issued a reminder that all documents submitted in support of visa applications must be submitted in Arabic.

What does the change mean? Documents in English or any language other than Arabic are no longer accepted. The policy applies to all applications submitted in Dubai. Any documents originally in a language other than Arabic must be translated and certified.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All applications submitted in Dubai.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are submitting supporting documents in Dubai.
  • 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, including, but not limited to, birth certificates, marriage certificates, diplomas and professional certifications.

Background: Arabic translation of supporting documents has been a long-standing requirement in Abu Dhabi. Until recently, authorities in Dubai would accept documents in English, but beginning in 2017, the policy began to change, especially for dependent visa applications. The Arabic-only policy is now being applied to all applications submitted in Dubai.

Analysis & Comments: 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.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.