GDRFA or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs is a governmental entity that regulates the entry and exit of international travellers from Dubai as well as the residency of foreign nationals in the city. In 2015, GDRFA catered to the needs of over 48 million passengers and dealt with 65 million multi-category transactions. It is ranked amongst the top ports and border directorates in the world.
All about the GDRFA
GDRFA’s services are directly related to tourists and expats in Dubai. Hence, it plays a pivotal role in assisting and facilitating the entry and exit (clearance) of people who visit or live in Dubai. Moreover, it allows talented individuals to join organisations in the UAE and sponsor their families in the country. Contributions in the economic sector made by tourists and professionals settling in the emirate from abroad are huge. And all this won’t be possible without the highly efficient GDRFA services.
Over the years, the regulatory authority has streamlined its processes resulting in quick, prompt responses. One can apply for any of their services online via the official GDRFA website or visit any of their service centres.
The GDRFA services are as follows:
Family Book Services
All services with regards to Family Book are taken care of by GDRFA. This includes services/modification of the book linked to marriage or separation, the addition of a newborn child on the books, replacement of a damaged or lost book, termination of registration and other such services.
GDRFA passport services include the replacement of a damaged/lost passport, issuance of a passport for a foreign wife (husband dependent), issuance of a passport of a newborn child and issuance of an electronic passport. Moreover, passport renewals are also part of their services.
Entry Permits Services
The scope of GDRFA entry permit services includes requests for residency entry permit, request for a long or short visit visa, extension or cancellation of a visit visa.
Residency services are also part of GDRFA’s domain. Hence, for issuance of a new visa, visa renewal or a Residency Permit update, one has to get in touch with GDRFA. Similarly, addition or removal of escort services, change in status, residency permit transfer and cancellation also take place at GDRFA. Using the GDRFA portal, here is how you can check visa status in the UAE.
Borders Control Services
All entries through the land, air or marine ports are monitored and registered by GDRFA.
Establishment Support Services
Establishment Support Services at the GDRFA include process requests made at the supporting establishments. These cover supporting any company’s electronic services portal, banning services as well as services of enterprise representatives.
The Violation Control department primarily has three focus areas: border control, violation control (documentation) and violators follow up. It ensures that the system is not misused and everyone in Dubai follows the set legal procedure.
Mobile Services 150
This service can be used to inquire about Residence, Entry Permits or Overstays. Both individuals and establishments can use these services.
Jadeed is an SMS based reminder and event invite service. You can register for reminders about the following services:
- Establishment Card Expiry Reminder
- Passport Expiry Reminders For UAE Residents
- Residence Expiry Reminder
- GITEX Invitations
- DSF Invitations
- Passport Expiry Reminder for UAE Nationals
- E-Gate Card Expiry Reminder
- Security Messages
- RSA Token Reminders to Establishments
- Dnrd.ae Website SMS Messages
- Dnrd.ae Web Portal SMS Messages
Through IVR System, any establishment can request for reports regarding the individuals they have sponsored. Currently, requests can be made for four types of reports.
- Valid Entry Permit report
- Entry Permit violator’s report
- Valid Residence report
- Residence violator’s report
By using Barq Services, you can apply for any documentation from the comfort of your home or office. A member of the delivery team will collect all documents and fulfil all the protocols. Home or office delivery will be made once the document is ready.
Distinguished Guest Services
This is a special service for people who visit Dubai frequently via a sponsor. Benefits include:
- An E-Gate card allowing quick and easy entry and exit.
- Renewal of the subscription rather than re-registration.
- One-time payment facility rather than paying every time for a new visa.
- Specified gateway for DG(s) and E-Gate cardholders.
This is the data sharing process between GDRFA and Dubai Health Authority to ensure that no fraud is committed.
Smart Gate is a faster alternative to e-gates and manual passport control counters. It allows passengers to go through immigration processes without the assistance of an immigration officer. At the Smart Gate, travellers can use passports, e-gate card, Emirates ID or QR Barcode.
GDRFA Service Centres
To avail any of the aforementioned services, you can visit one of the multiple GDRFA Service Centres in Dubai.
- Al Twar Center Section
- Bin Soughat Center Section
- Free Zone Section- Dubai International Airport
- Alissely section
- His Excellency The Governor Department Section
- Dubai International Financial Center
- Almanara Center Section
- Jebel Ali Section
- Airport Services Center
- Jumeirah Lake Towers Center
- Dubai Development Authority Section
- Hatta Section
GDRFA Customer Centre Number
GDRFA Customer Centre Number is 800-5111. If you need assistance, a GDRFA customer service representative will try and provide a solution to your query. Alternatively, you can also use the Amer E-chat facility to ask any questions.
This completes our review of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs services. The institution plays a vital role in maintaining law and order and regulating individuals visiting, living and working in Dubai. You can visit the official website, create a GDRFA login and go forward from there. Alternatively, you could also download the GDRFA app.
The improvement in its service is part of the larger drive by the government to make the processes more citizen-friendly. Amer Centres in Dubai are another example of such an initiative. The overall aim is to provide prompt services to citizens and help businesses run operations smoothly.
So whether you are sponsoring a family member, inviting a professional for your business or planning to renew an official document, you know where to head to. Read up on the different types of visa before you start the process. For example, you could be looking at an investor visa in Dubai or simply a Dubai Tourist visa. Another visa type is the Dubai Family visa.
Have you moved recently to the UAE? Visit MyBayut to know more about life in the UAE.