Travel agents answerable for visa overstay by visitors

The travel agents will be held responsible for the whereabouts of the visitors entering the country through them. They are also answerable for visa overstays of the visitors, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of Sharjah announced.
The announcement comes at a time when thousands of jobseekers enter the country every year through visit visas, causing administrative issues.

The Directorate recently held a meeting with 50 leading travel agents in Sharjah to convey the messaged, and has emphasized on the need to regulate the tourism sector.

The decision to tighten the visa regime was considered, as the demand for visas for under-18 increased during the recent past, with many not returning within the allotted time.

Nearly 49,583 tourist visas have been issued in 2009, 75,008 in 2010, and 33,473 visas during first four months of this year.

The meeting suggested preparation of a standard form for licensing tour operators, and called for detailed explanation of activities of the tourist company, in the license issued by the Department of Economic Development.


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