Visitors to the UAE can now extend their visas for 60 days without having to leave the country.
Reforms to the current system mean those on visit or tourist visas can apply for two 30-day extensions on top of their existing visa.
Previously, visitors had to leave the country when their three-month visit visa or one-month tourist visa expired.
The initiative is aimed at making life easier for job-seekers to find suitable employment without racking up huge costs for leaving and re-entering the country.
And it could mean an end to border runs for those who are unable to get their residence paperwork done in time.
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said: “The new system now allows people on visit or tourist visas to extend their stay in the UAE for 30 days, for two times, after expiration of the entry permits.
“The extension of visas for visitors without exiting the country will help job-seekers get more time to find jobs and will spare them from the travel burden and other expenses as it has been the case.”
Reforms of the current system will also allow a one-year visa extension for divorcees and widows.
While one-year visas will be afforded to students after Grade 12 or those who have finished university.