The UAE’s Ministry of Labor announced plans to use online filing system to speed up the application process for work permits across the country.
In the existing system, a representative from the company must go to the ministry’s physical location to apply for a work permit, a process that unnecessarily consumes time. The new system, on the other hand, will enable applicants to submit all documents electronically. Moreover, companies will be able to process the work permits through a software that they can buy, or use at selected service centers.
Humaid bin Deemas, the executive director for Labour Affairs at the ministry, said we want to make sure that procedures will not form obstacles for any future changes in the criteria for the work permit and this move will work towards that end. It will also enable the ministry to concentrate more on formulating policies rather than spending time on mere procedures.
The system has been already introduced to companies that have more than fifty employees since the beginning of last year. However, the ministry plans to do a nationwide roll-out in the next period. Bin Deemas said in a press conference that the overall number of permits issued electronically until the end of August 2010 was 530,000 and the number of establishments that benefited from the service was 111,000. According to the Ministry of Labor, the move to an electronic system will reduce the time it takes to receive a primary application response from four days to four hours.