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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

What To Do If Your UAE Visa Has Been Cancelled During Covid-19

9th June 2020

For those expats whose UAE visa has been cancelled during COVID-19, what are your options?

When UAE visas are cancelled, it can be a very stressful time for expats as you have a small window of just 30 days in which to arrange a new visa or to leave the country without incurring any fines. During the time of COVID-19, the stress is amplified due to travel restrictions being in place and companies terminating staff to cut overheads rather than looking to take on new employees. So, if you have been unfortunate to have your visa cancelled, there are five options available to you.

1) Get a new job providing an employment visa

Whilst many companies are trimming their staffing to reduce overheads, there are still companies advertising for staff. Register with the recruitment agencies, search the online job portals and let your network know you are looking for a new position providing specific details of what you are looking for - so many jobs in the UAE are secured through word-of-mouth introductions - if your connections know you are looking they may know of an organisation looking for your particular skill set.

2) Apply for a UAE Visit Visa

Currently, visit visas can only be applied by expats who are inside the UAE. A visit visa is valid for 90 days and will give you more time to look for a new job. It can also be extended for 30 days and then for a further 30 days, if necessary. In case you have family with you in the UAE, it will be necessary for all family members to apply for visit visas if they are all staying in the UAE with you. Gateway Group can organize your Visit Visas for you.

3) Leave the UAE

As mentioned above, once visas are cancelled there is a 30 days grace period before you are required to leave the country. Whilst special measures have been put in place for UAE expats whose visas have expired, these measures do not apply to expats whose visas have been cancelled. In case you overstay, which means you remain in the UAE after the 30 day grace period and have not secured a new residence visa within that time, you will start to incur overstay fines. The first day of overstay incurs a fine of AED125; thereafter the fines accrue on a daily basis at AED25 per day.

4) Start a business in the UAE

If you have the skills and funds to run a business and have always dreamed of being your own boss; then maybe this is the push you need to open your own business. By setting up your own business, you can take responsibility for your own visa. Setting up businesses within the UAE can be very quick and depending upon the activities of your business and the jurisdiction that you set up in, can also be very cost effective. You might be surprised to know that it is possible to set up a free zone company, get it registered in Immigration & Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (so that you can apply for your visa) and get your visa and Emirates ID for AED20,000 and a little more if you set up a mainland company. Gateway Group is the authority on company formation in the UAE, so if this option is right for you, we can organize your business license and arrange your new visa for you.

5) Speak with your existing employer

If your visa hasn't yet been cancelled, speak with your existing employer to see if they will keep your visa open to give you a little more time to find a new position. If they are willing to do so, it will give you some breathing space to look for a new job and save you the costs involved in applying for a Visit Visa if you intend to stay in the UAE.

How Gateway Group can help you with your UAE visas

Whether you are an organisation or an individual needing on-the-ground assistance to manage your visas, Gateway's team of experts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ready to help. Gateway processes all types of UAE visas on a daily basis, so we stay fully up-to-date with any changes to processes due to COVID 19. Ask Gateway to manage your UAE visas.

Call Gateway Group: 600 567562

Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO

Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai UAE


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