Coronavirus: No exceptions for expired residency visas, UAE immigration service says

The only exception will be for residents stuck in a country where the borders are closed. In this case they must return as soon as they are able to.

A passenger wearing a mask passes through a temperature screening at Dubai International Airport. AP
A passenger wearing a mask passes through a temperature screening at Dubai International Airport. AP

The visas of the vast majority of UAE residents stuck outside the country for more than six months will expire, with no exceptions, immigration authorities have said.

Earlier this year, authorities declared that residency visas expiring after March 1 would be automatically renewed until the end of December given many government offices had been forced to close due to the coronavirus.

As of this month, however, the extension decision has been overturned, meaning most residents who held visas which expired after March 1 will need to reapply after all.

UAE residents whose visas expire on or after July 12 will be given a month to renew the document or face fines.

What will happen to the visas of people stuck outside the UAE?

The visas of residents stuck outside of the country for more than six months will expire.

What happens if the borders are closed where they are?

In that case, the residents must return to the UAE as soon as the skies open again wherever they are. They need to get ICA or GDRFA approval prior to their return, however.

Residents will then be permitted to enter the UAE if they have this. And they will have one month to renew their residency visa once they are back in the country.

This article originally stated that there were exceptions for some people who return to the UAE and find their visa has expired after six months. This is no longer the case, the GDRFA has asked us to clarify. We apologise for any confusion.

Updated: July 22, 2020 09:42 PM

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