UAE government to waive expired visa fees

Embassy of India encourages people to apply through the embassy or consulate before the window closes on August 17

The UAE government will waive fines for residents of all nationalities whose visas expired before March 1 or whose residency visas applications were not processed due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

People have until August 17 to leave the country without financial penalty.

The embassy and consulate of India have urged residents with expired visas to apply.

Indian citizens must get approval by applying through either the Embassy of India, if they are a resident or Abu Dhabi visa holder, or through the Consulate General of India, if they are a resident or have a visa issued from Dubai, Sharjah or the Northern Emirates.

“Accordingly, all Indian nationals whose visas have expired before March 1, 2020 are advised to avail of this opportunity to leave the country without paying any fines till August 17, 2020,” said the embassy in a statement.

To do so, people should apply at least seven working days before travelling with passport details, their a local phone number, email address and visa and other supporting documents to the embassy ca.abudhabi@mea.gov.in or consulate cons2.dubai@mea.gov.in.

The embassy and consulate will forward the application to UAE authorities for approval and will notify people by phone or email once approved after at least five working days.

If people are unable to send documents by email, they are advised to submit their applications in the drop boxes outside the embassy or consulate.

“It may please be noted that crowding outside Embassy or Consulate is to be strictly avoided, especially in these Covid times,” the embassy said. “Co-ordinated efforts of all stakeholders will make this programme a success.”

To apply for the fine waiver, the individual must be in possession of a valid passport or emergency certificate to travel to India. If they do not have a passport, they must approach the Indian consulate or embassy for a passport or emergency certificate to travel.

Anyone travelling on an emergency certificate will have their passport cancelled and must apply for a new passport on arrival in India.

The embassy asked for public support to help its citizens.

“We hereby appeal to all community organisations and associations to also spread this message to all Indian nationals in this situation and to also help such people with documentation required to make it a smooth process," said a statement from the embassy.

It is unclear how many would be affected by the fine waiver but tens of thousands applied during a visa amnesty scheme in 2018, which allowed people to leave without fines or rectify their visa status by finding work and getting a new sponsor.

Updated: July 24, 2020 01:48 AM

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