UK embassies in UAE to downgrade their services to expats

Published:  27 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, UK, Dubai, UAE, Money, England
British government missions in Dubai are to reduce their notarial and documentary services from 1 December in order to save money and improve efficiency.

Due to changes brought in by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, some services offered to British expats living and working in Dubai will be curtailed. Embassies and consulates in the UAE are to withdraw the shortlist of available documentary and notorial services, replacing it with a list of private UAE lawyers who provide similar services at an increased cost over that of the British missions.

The move, according to the Foreign Office, will free up more staff resources to deal with vulnerable or distressed Britishers. Victims of serious assault crimes and mental health patients who have no families in the UAE to care for them are two of the categories which are intended to benefit from embassy or consulate advice and assistance.

The FCO announced the changes on 26 November, and they will take effect on 1 December. Documentation no longer available will include the ‘no objection’ letters required to sponsor a spouse, and certified copies of passports, UK bank statements, declarations and affirmations.

The witnessing of signatures will also be discontinued. UK nationals in the UAE are unhappy about the changes, saying that it will make life more difficult as regards getting acceptable documents necessary for many expat needs. The changes come just a few weeks after it was announced that Emirati visitors to the UK would be allowed visa-free entry.
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