12 January 2012

renewing our nanny’s visa

Unlike the normal residence visas issued to employees of companies which are valid for 2 or 3 years, the visas of maids and nannies in the UAE whose sponsors are expats are only valid for 1 year. And even though there’s a grace period of one month to renew a UAE Residence Visa after it expires, we decided to process the renewal of Ate Cel’s visa as soon as possible to avoid anything that might cause problems.

So on the evening of the 4th of January, because Hubby had to work overtime that day, I asked one of our company drivers to take me, Caila and her nanny to a medical fitness centre so that she could have her medical exam. Last year, Ate Cel took her tests at Al Baraha Hospital. This time, the driver took us to Al Muhaisnah Medical Fitness Centre (in Sonapur). Since the driver knew how the process was done, we just followed him to whichever room he went. Once inside, we went to a room which did all the typing where I had to pay Dhs330 (results in 7 to 10 days) and submit the requirements.

As soon as the documents were ready, the driver had to get a number and wait for his turn. Although there were a lot of people there, the wait wasn’t really long because there were a lot of counters. When his number was announced, Ate Cel had to go with him (probably to show the person at the counter that she was the same person as the documents showed), and the person at the counter gave them the rest of the papers that were needed. After that, we went to a counter to pay for the courier service (Dhs20) so that the results would just be delivered directly to my office address, and then we went to another part of the hall where we submitted the papers to a man who gave Ate Cel a number. She was also asked to show her original Emirates ID and Domestic Workers Card, again as proof of identity. After around 5 minutes, her number was called and she was directed to another room for her blood test; she was also given a small container for her urine sample. This time, since it was just a renewal, no x-ray had to be done and she didn’t have to submit a stool sample. Before we left the centre, she had to get her first of three shots of Hepatitis B injections (Dhs50). Apparently, she was supposed to have had 3 shots last year and we only had to show the certificate showing that she completed all three so that we didn’t have to pay again. Oh well, now we know. The time we spent at the centre was approximately 1 hour.

We expected to receive the results after a week, so I was gladly surprised when a courier guy came to our office on Monday (5 days after the medical) to deliver the documents. That same evening after work, we fetched Ate Cel and Caila from home and immediately headed to DNRD where we had the typing done in one of the centres. Since the man there said that the normal service is no longer provided, we had to pay Dhs5,230 for the urgent processing. Once the papers were in my hands, we rushed to the Residency Section where Hubby approached a local guy at the Customer Service counter and showed his documents. We should have known that something would happen that would prevent us from getting everything done as fast as we hoped. Apparently, we had to bring the receipt of the Dhs2,000 security deposit we paid last year, which, as luck would have it, we forgot at home. Hubby was worried that there might be a penalty if we renewed it after it expired (because our schedules were full the next night), but I assured and reminded him that there was a one month grace period.

Finally we all went back to DNRD yesterday night, making sure that we had all the documents and the Security Deposit receipt in hand. Hubby again went to the counter where the man gave him a number. As soon as his number flashed on the screen, he went to the counter and submitted the documents. I was a bit nervous because minutes before, we had realized that our Tenancy Contract was in my name and we didn’t have a copy of our marriage certificate with us. Luckily, the lady at the counter didn’t look for it; she just asked to see the Tenancy Contract. Finally, three copies of the Employment Agreement were given to Hubby which he and Ate Cel had to sign immediately (1 copy for DNRD, 1 copy for the sponsor, 1 copy for the nanny), and after he showed his Labour Card to the lady when she asked him for proof of identification, the new contract, visa and Domestic Worker Card were in his hands.

Compared to what we went through last year, the renewal wasn’t all that bad. This time, we didn’t have to go back and forth between DNRD and our home so many times.

So just for your and my (future) reference, here’s a summary of the requirements and charges for the entire renewal: Hopefully next year, we’ll have learned our lesson and we’ll need to go to the DNRD only once.

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