Out of UAE over 6 months? New re-entry permit is easy way residents can return
Updated: 5 hours ago
1st February 2023
UAE residence visa holders who stay out of the country for more than six months can now apply for a new re-entry permit, providing their visa is still valid and they can provide a valid reason and supporting evidence for being out of the country for more than 180 days.
Previously, when residents remained outside of the UAE for more than six months, their visa was automatically cancelled. This meant, reapplying for a totally new visa and incurring all of the associated costs for processing a new visa. This new re-entry permit, which is the latest in a series of visa reforms, provides increased flexibility for residents who have genuine reasons for staying away longer than the standard conditions of having a residency visa.
It is not year clear what the UAE authorities will consider as an acceptable reason, and no such examples have been provided. However, we would like to think that something along the lines of a resident being overseas for long-term medical treatment would be an acceptable example and something which could easily be justified with supporting documentation.
All you need to know about the new re-entry permit for UAE residents
Who can apply for a re-entry permit?
Individuals holding a valid UAE visa, who have been outside of the country for more than 180 days, can apply for a re-entry permit. It should be noted that their residence visa must not have already expired.
Currently this service is only available to Abu Dhabi visa-holders. It is expected to be extended to visa holders across all Emirates.
Who is NOT eligible to apply for the new re-entry permit?
· Golden visa holders (under the revised conditions of the golden visa, which came into force in October 2022, expats with golden visas can now remain outside of the UAE for unlimited periods during the validity of their visa).
· Visit visa holders
· Tourist visa holders
How much does the re-entry permit service cost?
AED950 + overstay fines which are calculated at AED100 for every 30 days or less spent outside of the country following the standard 180 days allowance.
Therefore, if an individual remained outside of the UAE for just one additional week, after the 180 days allowance, the fine would be AED100, so the total cost for the re-entry permit would be AED1,050. Or if they remained outside of the country for four and a half months, after the 180 days allowance, the fine would be AED500, so the total cost for the entry permit would be AED1,450.
If the re-entry permit application is rejected, is the application fee refundable?
Unfortunately, fees are not refundable as the work undertaken to carry out the service still happens whether the application is approved or rejected.
What information is needed to apply for the re-entry permit?
· Personal details (name, contact details)
· Passport copy
· Residence visa copy
· Emirates ID copy
How long does it take for the re-entry permit to be issued?
Approximately 3 working days following application.
When can applicants re-enter the country?
Applicants must wait for the approval of their re-entry permit application before returning to the UAE. Once, their application is approved, applicants must re-enter the country within 30 days from the date of the approval.
What happens if applications are incomplete?
In the instance an individual fails to supply complete data and documents, their application will be returned and they can submit the missing information. This may incur additional fees, which will be advised at that time, if applicable. If applications are returned three times due to incomplete information supplied, or a period of 30 days has lapsed in the instance an application is returned due to missing information, it will be cancelled.
How to apply for a re-entry entry permit
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Written by Jenny Hunt
Founder Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates
FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women In the Middle East