Dubai residents are not yet able to use the online service due to technical issues.

Last week, the UAE announced it had introduced a new smart services system which would allow you to apply for entry permits and residency visas online, in less than 10 minutes.

Considering how much of a headache applying for and renewing visas can be, the change was welcome news – but unfortunately, the system is not available for Dubai residents just yet.

According to a Gulf News report, while the new system is working fine in Abu Dhabi and other emirates, the Ministry of Interior is still in the process of linking the different government departments in Dubai.

“It’s a beginning stage of the new system and so many government departments and private entities as well as applications are to be linked in. It’s a big task,” a ministry official said.

The UAE has said it will halve the time it takes to process a residence visa

So yes, if you’ve been trying to sort out your visa online and wondered why it isn’t working, this is why. The good news is, the ministry says it expects all the kinks will be ironed out soon, and Dubai residents will also be able to use the service.

The new system (called “E-channels”) will mean you no longer have to visit a typing office or customer service centre to process your visa. Instead, you simply have to register on the website, and select your required service – which should only take about 10 minutes in total.

Using the service, UAE nationals can sponsor individuals, GCC citizens can apply for new visa permits, and UAE residents can apply for new visas, as well as renew or cancel existing ones. You can also pay for your visa through the website.

We’ll let you know as soon as the service becomes available in Dubai.

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