The UAE Cabinet on Friday issued a decision that cancels all recently issued resolutions about the validity of residency visas from July 11.
These include the residency extension previously granted to expatriates, who are within and outside the country, and whose visas have expired from March 1, 2020. However, the UAE Cabinet has announced a three-month grace period for GCC passport holders and UAE residents to renew their visa and residency documents.
Entry permits and ID cards that have also expired will now be considered invalid.
Q: Who is impacted by this new update?
A: This covers people with existing UAE residence permits whose visas have expired after March 1 and those with visas expected to expire in the coming months.
For GCC nationals, it refers to non-sponsored GCC identity and Emirates Identity Card. For Emiratis, it applies to their Emirates ID.
Q: What will happen for visa and Emirates ID that have expired on or after March 1, 2020, what will happen to the extension given until year-end?
A: The validity of expired visas and entry permits that was extended until the end of December this year has been canceled. Identity cards that expired on March 1, which were previously considered valid until the end of the year, will now be deemed invalid.
Q: What does the new three-month grace period mean?
A: For people inside the UAE whose residence permit expires after March 1, they now have a three-month grace period starting from July 11. They must renew their visas prior to October 11.
Earlier residence permits expiring post-March 1 were automatically renewed until the end of December to mitigate for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As of July 11, the residency extensions until the end of the year are no longer applicable.
Q: What about residents who are outside the country with expired visas and cannot come to UAE because flights are not yet available?
A: Residents and GCC citizens who spent less than six months outside the country will be given one month for renewal, with the grace period starting from the date of their arrival in the UAE. They shall be given a window to return to the UAE from the date of the reopening of airspace between the two countries. This will be according to a time frame determined by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
Q: What happens to UAE residents who have been out of the country for more than six months?
A: The implementation will be clear in the coming weeks for residents whose visas expired after March 1 and have been out of the country for more than 180 days. A specific grace period will be determined by the ICA.
Residents will be permitted to enter the UAE. Once flights resume between the country they are currently in and the UAE, they need to get ICA or GDRFA approval.
The understanding is the grace period will be 30 days.
Q: What do I need to do, and will I be fined?
A: Log in to the government portal and enter your residence permit details, check the expiry date so you are clear about when a renewal is required.
Yes. Fines will now take effect from July 12, as the Cabinet has canceled the previous resolution that suspended penalties on violations related to residency. It clarified that no fines for the exemption period will be collected.
Fines will be charged for residents inside the UAE if the residence visa is not renewed within the three-month grace period.
Dubai residents can check on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs portal.
For those in the country, the residency visa violation fine is AED 25 per day.
When leaving the country, the fine is AED 250 plus AED 25 per day.
There is also AED 20 per day fine for failure to renew an Emirates identity card, that can go up to AED 1,000.
Those sponsoring dependents or housemaids should check the portals for the new expiry dates and renew before the grace period ends.
Q: Do I need to do a medical test?
A: Medical tests have resumed for those who have to renew their residency visas.
Q: What about the residency visas that were renewed during the lockdown?
A: During stay home restrictions for the coronavirus, residents had received an electronic sticker online to show the visa was extended. Going forward, the renewed residency visa will be stamped on their passport.
Q: When can you begin filing renewal applications?
A: Authorities have released a schedule for filing renewal applications. Details will later be available about whether this applies across the UAE.
For residency visas and Emirates identity cards that expired in March and April 2020, the date to resume acceptance of renewal requests is from July 12, 2020, as per the ICA.
For expirations in May, the date is August 11, 2020.
For documents that expired in June and until July 11, the date is September 10, 2020.
Q: What about people who lost jobs or had visas canceled after March 1?
A: They have 30 days to find an employer or find a new job. Failing this, they should exit the UAE within 30 days. They can also apply for an in-country 30 or 90-day tourist visa.
The overstay fines payable per day after one-month grace is AED 225 for the first day and AED 25 for each subsequent day.
Q: How about people whose visas were canceled or expired before March 1?
A: As per the earlier guidance, they have until August 18, 2020 to leave. The updated notification does not cover people whose permits were canceled before March.
Please let us know how we can help accommodate in any way possible.