Residence visa renewal linked to tenancy contract in Sharjah
Having a tenancy contract in one's own name is the passport to a residency permit in Sharjah
under a new rule introduced by the Sharjah Naturalisation and Residency Department.
Thousands of families who live in shared accommodation in Sharjah will be hard hit by the new rule of the Sharjah Naturalisation and Residency Department requiring a tenancy contract in the applicant's name or his close relative.
According to the new regulations, those applying for residency visas for their families should produce a copy of their tenancy contract.
The contract, which is considered proof of one's eligibility to afford a family, must be attested by the Sharjah Municipality.
Residents said they will have to send their families back home as it is no longer affordable to rent a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment in Sharjah.
Many said since the rents started skyrocketing in Sharjah in the last two years by more than 30 to 50 per cent, people have opted for shared accommodation. Under the new rule they will not be able to renew their residency permits without having tenancy contracts in their names.
Lieutenant Colonel Salim Ali Mazaini, head of the visa section at the Sharjah Naturalisation and Residency Department, told Gulf News that the rule has been introduced to ensure that only those who are financially capable of providing decent accommodation can bring their families to the emirate.
"We are not insisting that the tenancy contract should be in the applicant's name. The contract can be in the name of his close relatives also, such as a brother or sister," said Mazaini.
He added that it is acceptable to share living space with one's own family members, but not with friends.
According to him, the rule is not applicable to professionals like doctors, engineers and people in managerial positions because they earn enough money to sponsor their families.
"We are being very flexible and taking each application on a case by case basis. For example, if a family does not have children, a studio flat in their name is more than enough to get a family residence permit.
"Or if a family with one or two children can show that they are sharing a three-bedroom apartment with a close relative, it will also get them the residency status," Mazaini said.
However, some residents said their applications have been rejected even after they produced tenancy contracts of their relatives.
Hussain, a Sharjah resident who refused to give his second name, said his application to sponsor his family was rejected because he could not produce a tenancy contract.
"Now with this new rule, I doubt whether I can bring my wife and child to the UAE," said Hussain who works as an administrative assistant.
Another resident, Riyas Mohammad from Pakistan, said he has shelved his plan to bring his family because of the new regulations.
New categories: Renewal for one year only
The Sharjah Naturalisation and Residency department has also issued a list of 60 categories of low income groups including hairdressers, butchers, shop assistants, chefs, clerks and others for whom residency permits will be renewed only for a period of one year.
These categories must also get prior approval before their applications are typed.
The typing centres have been instructed that the categories listed below need prior approval before applications are typed.
1. Beauty therapist 31. Barber
2. Spice/pulse grinder 32. Makeup artist
3. Watchman 33. Janitor
4. Dining-room servant 34. Shift operator
5. Fishmonger 35. Typist
6. Fisherman 36. Watchman
7. Calligrapher 37. Chef
8. Digger 38. Turner
9. Porter 39. Plumber
10. Office boy 40. Tile fitter
11. Pipe fitter 41. Meat griller
12. Cobbler 42. Falafel maker
13. Sailor 43. Dessert maker
14. Pipe filer 44. Pastry maker
15. Grocer 45. Waiter
16. Tyre repairer 46. Machine operator
17. Shoemaker 47. Clothes presser
18. Manicurist 48. Car washer
19. Hairdresser 49. Coffee maker
20. Clerk 50. Butcher
21. Follow-up clerk 51. Slaughterer
22. Archive clerk 52. Painter
23. Tinker 53. Tailor
24. Mechanic assistant 54. Baker
25. Ironsmith 55. Kneader
26. Welder 56. Goldsmith
27. Carpenter 57. Electrician
28. Builder 58. Upholsterer
29. Shop attendants 59. Blancher
30. Light vehicle driver 60. Drawer/draftsman
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