Latest UAE visa rules: Grace period extension, fines and FAQs

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Latest UAE visa rules: Grace period extension, fines and FAQs

 

DUBAI – The UAE has announced an additional 30-day grace period from August 11 for those with visit visa or tourist visa that expired after March 1, a move welcomed by tourists and residents.

The announcement by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on Monday (August 10) follows a similar July 16 announcement by ICA that visa overstayers will be given additional 30 days after August 11 to leave the UAE or change their visa status without incurring fines.

The guidelines do not cover people with cancelled visas, so overstay fines are expected.

Expatmedia.net spoke to Libbie Burtinshaw, Operations Manager of PRO Partner Group, to explain the new visa rules.

What happened to the earlier rule extending the validity of expired residence visas, visit visas, tourist visas and Emirates ID to December 31?

The UAE Cabinet cancelled that rule on July 11.

What is the rule for visit visa or tourist visa holders stuck in the UAE with expired visas?

“If their visa expired after March 1, they will be given additional 30-day grace period starting on August 11 to leave the UAE, extend their visa or change status without incurring fines,” Libbie Burtinshaw tells Expatmedia.net.

What about expats staying in the UAE with residence visa that expired after March 1?

If you are in the UAE and your residence visa expires on a date from March 1 until July 11, you have a three-month grace period or until October 10 to renew your visa in order to continue staying in the UAE. Otherwise, you will need to leave the country before the grace period in order to avoid paying fine

What about expats with residence visa that expired after July 12?

“Expatriates holding a UAE residency visa that expired after July 12 should proceed with visa renewal as per the normal process,” Burtinshaw explains.

What about residence visa holders in the UAE whose visas were cancelled between March 1 and July 1?

“Fines will be applied immediately. It is recommended that these individuals exit the country or change the current visa status,” Burtinshaw says.

What about expats whose residence visas were cancelled after July 1?

“They will be given a grace period of 30 days to exit the country or change the status onto a new visa,” Burtinshaw says.

What about UAE residence visa holders who are outside the UAE for less than six months?

“If their residency visa expired after March 1, they will be given a one-month grace period from the date of arrival to the UAE to renew the residency visa,” Burtinshaw says.

What about UAE residence visa holders outside the UAE for more than six months?

Their visa will automatically expire, but they may be granted a specific grace period which will be determined accordingly once flights resume between the country they are currently in and the UAE. Once they arrive back to the UAE, they may be granted a 30 days grace period to renew their residency visa.

When do I start paying fines?

In the case of a cancelled or expired visa, failure to comply with the new regulations could result in an overstay fine of Dh225 for the first day and Dh25 for any subsequent days.

If the visa was cancelled after March 1 but before July 1, the fines will begin immediately.

In case the visa was cancelled after July 1, there will be a 30-day grace period. Once this has elapsed, fines will be applied.

For residency visas expired between March 1 and July 12 for individuals inside the UAE, there will be a three-month grace period before fines are incurred.

In the case of an expired visit visa, the expatriate will be required to change the status of their visa, extend their visa for 30 days of change their status within 30 days after August 11. After this date overstay fines will begin to accrue, fines will start from July 11. Fines incurred will be Dh300 for the first day and Dh100 for any subsequent days.

What are the next steps for visa holders?

“Moving forward, it is likely that the visa renewal process will return to normal and the same processes will resume that were applicable pre-Covid-19,” Burtinshaw says.

For those on expired visas, it is advisable to renew them immediately if expired after July 12, or by October 10 if expired between March 1 and July 12.

For those on cancelled visas, it is recommended to exit the UAE or change the status as soon as possible. ICA/Expat Media

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New UAE rules for visas that expired after March 1


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