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New UAE rules on visas effective September 5

New visa rules under the UAE federal decree law on foreigners’ entry visa, including visit visa and golden visa, as well as residence visa, will take effect starting on September 5.

The federal decree law was issued by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Types of UAE visas specified

Under the new rules, an entry visa granted to a foreigner determines the purpose of entry into the UAE. The entry visas include visit visa, temporary or emergency entry visa, employment visa, residency visa, as well as entry visa for GCC residents and their foreign escorts.

A single entry or multiple entry visa allowing foreigners on temporary visit to the UAE may also be issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP).

The entry visa is classified according to the purpose of the visit, such as tourism, visiting a relative or friend, work assignment, exploring job opportunities, exploring business opportunities, medical treatment, study, training or qualification, and courtesy visa.

A visit visa may be issued by a decision of the ICP head or his authorised representative, for other purposes.

Duration and validity of UAE visas

The ICP will determine the duration of a foreigner’s stay in the UAE. In all cases, the duration of stay should not exceed one year, with fees and a guarantee payment.

The entry visa can be extended on authority of the ICP head or his representative, depending on the validity of the reason for the extension and payment of extension fees.

The entry visit visa is valid for 60 days from the date of its issuance for the holder to enter the country. It can be renewed for similar periods after paying the prescribed fees.

The ICP may also grant a foreigner an entry visit visa for the purpose of tourism, provided that the guarantor or host is a tourism company based in the UAE. The entry visit visa will require a guarantee payment as well as a processing fee.

UAE entry visa fees

Fees for 10 entry visas to the UAE range between Dh200 and Dh1,500, when applying for the service through the ICP’s website www.icp.gov.ae or smart application UAEICP. Here is the partial list of visa fees:

Residence entry permit for family of partner and investor: Dh250

Residence entry permit for family of resident working in government sector: Dh200

Residence entry permit for the family of resident working in private sector or free zone: Dh250

Long-term single visit visa (work or entertainment for Emirati sponsor or resident): Dh550

Entry permit for business or entertainment for partner and investor: Dh550

Long-term multiple visit visa for work or entertainment for a partner and investor: Dh1,500

Entry visa for work or entertainment for Emirati sponsor or resident: Dh1,500

Entry permit for a long-term single visit (tourism): Dh550

According to the ICP, the fees must be paid through credit card, debit card or e-dirham and that the application form should be submitted via www.icp.gov.ae or the smart app UAEICP.

UAE employment visa

Pending the approval of the competent authorities, the ICP may grant an employment visa for the following categories: a foreigner employed by an employer under an employment contract, and holders of green residency.

UAE green residency for foreigners

The ICP may grant green residency to a foreigner coming to the country to reside as an investor or partner in a commercial project if the following conditions are met: the authority’s approval of the investment is obtained and the value of investment or partnership is as decided by the ICP chairman.

It also stipulates that the ICP may grant a foreigner an employment visa without the need for a sponsor or employer in the country if he is a skilled worker, provided the minimum educational level is a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the monthly salary is not less than Dh15,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies.

The decision stipulates that the residency permit granted to a foreigner shall be considered as void if the period of his residence outside the country has exceeded 180 consecutive days. The residence permit shall remain valid until the end of its term for the following categories: foreigner wives of UAE citizens; domestic workers accompanying citizens on scholarships to study abroad; domestic workers of Emirati patients traveling for medical treatment abroad and foreign patients and their companions traveling for treatment abroad, who have valid residence permits, provided they submit a medical report certified by the competent authorities in the UAE.

Other categories include domestic workers for members of diplomatic and consular missions and their employees holding UAE residence permits; foreigners delegated by public sector institutions to join training or specialised courses; employees working in overseas offices of such institutions abroad and their families holding valid UAE residence permits and domestic workers for members of the ruling families working in their homes abroad and who hold valid UAE residence permits.

They also include students enrolled in educational facilities abroad who have valid residence permits in the country; investors holding valid residence permits; people sponsored by diplomatic and consular representatives and their escorts and any other categories pending a decision by the ICP, provided they hold a valid residency permit. ICA/Expat Media


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