UAE residents and GCC passport holders now have a three-month grace period to finalise their visa and residency documents.
11 July 2020| Last updated on 15 July 2020
All your questions about the UAE's latest visa guidelines for residents, answered.
Following the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA)'s decision to resume charging administrative fees for visa services this week, the UAE Cabinet announced a three-month grace period for UAE residents and GCC citizens to renew their visa and residency documents.
The new guidelines are applicable to all UAE residents, GCC passport holders, and Emiratis (both within or stranded outside of the UAE) whose residency visas/permits or Emirates ID expired after March 1, 2020.
The three-month grace period starts from Saturday, July 11 and visas or residency documents must be renewed before October 11.
Previously, residency permits that expired after March 1 would automatically remain valid until December 31, 2020. However, this decision has been revoked and the validity extension is no longer in effect.
The new grace period also applies to dependents, maids, employees, and students who study outside of the UAE.
My visa expires after March 1, what do I need to do?
If you are inside the UAE
If you are currently inside the UAE and your residency visa/permit expires after March 1, you must renew your visa before October 11.
You must visit the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship portal or ICA page and enter your residence permit details so you can check the expiry date. This way, you are sure of when a renewal is required.
This also applies to sponsors of dependents and housemaids.
For Dubai residents, you can check your visa statues through the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs portal.
Will I be charged with a fine?
If you do not renew within the three month grace period, fines will be given at AED 25 per day.
If you will leave the UAE, the total fine will be AED 250 + AED 25 for each day.
Failure to renew your Emirates ID will incur an AED 20 fine per day that can go up to AED 1,000.
If you are outside of the UAE
If you are a UAE resident and you have been outside of the country for less than 180 days, you have a one-month grace period to renew your residency permit once you return to the UAE.
When can I file my visa renewal application?
UAE authorities released a schedule for visa renewal applications, with more details that are yet to come. Please refer to the list below to find out when you can begin your visa renewal application:
- Residency visas and Emirates IDs that expired in March - April 2020: from July 12, 2020.
- Residency visas and Emirates IDs that expired in May 2020: from August 11, 2020.
- Residency visas and Emirates IDs that expired in June - July 11: from September 10, 2020.
Do I need a medical test for visa renewal?
Yes you do. If you need to renew your residency visa, the standard process is still in place.
In the previous months, residents would receive an electronic sticker online to show their new visa status. Now, your new residency visa will be stamped on your physical passport.
I lost my job/cancelled my visa, what should I do?
If you lost your job or your residency visa was cancelled before March 1, you have until Tuesday, August 18, 2020 to exit the country.
For those who lost their job or cancelled their visa after March 1, you have 30 days to find a new employer. If you are unsuccessful, you must exit the UAE within 30 days. You can, however, apply for an in-country 30 or 90-day UAE tourist visa.
After the one-month grace period, a fine of AED 225 will be charged followed by an AED 25 fine for each day you overstay.
My visit visa expires after March 1, what should I do?
According to the UAE authorities, holders of visit visas that expired after March 1 must leave the country or they will be charged with overstay fines.
The deadline to exit the UAE or get a new visa is on August 10.