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Man pays PRO for visa, spends one night in detention Marie Nammour / 2 March 2014 Legally speaking, if you want a thing well done, do it yourself; never trust a person you hardly know with handling your sensitive documents. Take for instance the case of Samir (name changed), who took the easy way out to sponsor his 4-month-old daughter’s residence visa by seeking the services of a PRO. However, after making the due visa payments, instead of getting the visa, he found himself involved in a forgery case. Samir, 26, works as a manager in a real estate firm and lives in a hotel apartment. He told Khaleej Times that since the day he trusted the PRO with his daughter’s visa application, his life has taken a turn for the worse. Samir claims he paid the PRO Dh2,500 to have the visa issued and to cover expenses such as typing, medical fitness fees, Emirates ID fees, and other typing expenses. He went to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) on November 20 last year to collect the visa. “He told me I need to go in person to collect the visa since I am the girl’s father.” To his surprise, he was apprehended by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers and taken to Al Aweer Detention Centre where he spent one night. He was released on bail after depositing his passport. “I have been told at the Land Department that my Ejari certificate was forged. It bore a serial number that belongs to a tailor shop’s tenancy contract while its details are mine. The PRO forged it.” KT has learnt that the police are on the lookout for the PRO in connection with the case. “This whole thing happened when my daughter was only one-month old. Now she’s almost four-months old and I have not got the chance to hold her yet.” Samir said he loves Dubai and doesn’t want to be deported because of someone else’s wrongdoing. He submitted an authentic tenancy contract and was unaware the Ejari letter was forged, he claimed. His case is currently under investigation by the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution. “I never told that man to forge any document for me. I paid him for his services and enclosed my application with authentic documents. I was not aware of what he did with it.” Legal procedure Hotel apartment residents should submit their tenancy documents at the GDRFA, as the Land Department in Dubai is no longer issuing tenancy contract registration certificates or Ejari letters in such cases. An Ejari customer service employee said that residents living in hotel apartments and wanting to sponsor a family member should submit their tenancy contracts, among other documents, for verification at the GDRFA. “We, in Ejari, register tenancy contracts for residents of residential flats when they apply for visas for a family member. As for the residents who live in hotel apartments they should submit their tenancy documents for verification at the GDRFA.” The applicant should also get a letter from the hotel stating that he is a tenant of a room at the hotel paying a specific annual rent. The letter should bear the hotel manager’s signature and be stamped with the hotel’s official seal, according to the Ejari employee. Earlier, Ali Humeid bin Khatem, the head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution, in an interview with KT , urged all residents to refrain from forging and presenting forged tenancy contracts registration certificates because “they would be caught and be held legally accountable”. He advised the residents who want to sponsor their relatives to avoid fraudulent ways when applying for visas. “They should indeed have a rented flat or own property so that they could provide the required documents to be able to sponsor their relatives,” the Chief Prosecutor said. Thanks to the Ejari programme, he said, forgery cases are being easily detected and exposed. “The Ejari staff, available at the Residency and the Land departments as well as in several other branches across Dubai, are there to verify the authenticity of the tenancy contracts and then issue the visa applicants tenancy contract registration certificates.” Penalty for forgery According to article 217 of the Federal Penal Code, whoever forges an official document shall be sentenced to a period not exceeding five years in prison. According to article 121 of the Federal Penal Code, the courts, both Criminal and the Misdemeanours, may order the deportation of the accused, if found guilty, in forgery cases. firstname.lastname@example.org For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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