By Linah Benyawa
United Arab Emirates ( UAE) has introduced stringent visa conditions for foreigners seeking employment.
The conditions are published in their online edition of National newspaper, on Thursday.
“Expatriates applying for or renewing residence visa are now required to produce a valid tenancy contract to show where they live,” said the new conditions by General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners.
The target population for the new rules is not named, but many Kenyans flock to UAE for employment.
There are an estimated 40,000 Kenyans working in UAE as low-level workers in duty free shops as well as expatriates in blue chip companies.
Residents of Coast Province form the bulk of Kenyans working in UAE and other Gulf States.
Immigrants often complain of racial abuse and brutality. Authorities, however, accuse them of promoting crime. Reports indicate immigrant population in UAE has surpassed local citizens. UAE has thus been keen on controlling number of immigrants. According to the article, immigrants seeking to renew their stay must prove residential address, water and power bills.
“The tenancy contract and bills must be certified by relevant municipality and utility provider.” The article adds that the directorate believes the new measures “will help the Ministry of Interior to develop a database of residents”.
Many foreigners working in UAE have already experienced difficulties with the new rules, according to the article which quotes one Abu Dhabi resident recounting problems experienced when trying to renew residence documents.
“I had landlord’s copy of the tenancy agreement but they told me the format for attestation is not ready. They don’t know when it’s going to be ready.”