What you need to know about the current UAE visa rules for residents

Visa renewals are now being processed

What you need to know about the current UAE visa rules for residents

UAE residence visas for those returning to the country are now being processed.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold air traffic around the world was grounded and the UAE borders were closed for a period of time, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

However, as the world begins to get back to normal and the hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions in the UAE open up again, flights in and out of the country have also resumed.

Earlier this year, the UAE government said any residents or citizens who were out of the country and whose residency visas expired after March 1 would have until the end of 2020 to return and renew the visas.

Now, the UAE Cabinet has announced a three-month grace period for GCC passport holders and UAE residents to renew their visa and residency documents.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) can also resume charging administrative fees for visa services from today (Sunday July 12).

It means anyone with a UAE resident visa that expires after March 1 this year will need to renew their documents within three-months from July 11. That gives them until October 11 to renew.

Anyone in the country after that date will begin to be fined Dhs25 per day if the visa is not renewed.

There is also Dhs20 per day fine for failing to renew an Emirates identity card, with a maximum amount of Dhs1,000.

Anyone who has been out of the country for less than 180 days will have a month from the date of return to renew their visa.

For those who have been out of the country for more than 180 days, the full details have not been announced yet. Though it is understood that once flights have resumed between whichever country you're in and the UAE, there will be 30 days to return and begin the visa process.

The ICA has released a schedule of when people should start renewing their visas.

If you are in the UAE and your residence visa has been cancelled after March 1, you must exit within 30 days or apply for a 30- or 90-day tourist visa if you have not found a new job.

The overstay fines after the initial 30 days is Dhs225 for the first day and Dhs25 every day after that.

Anyone whose visas was cancelled or expired before March 1 has until August 18 to leave the country.

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