8th June 2020
In response to COVID-19, the UAE authorities announced early on that any visas expiring after 1st March 2020 will automatically have the validity extended until 31st December 2020. This eased the pressure particularly for residents outside of the country who were unable to return to the UAE due to global travel restrictions. It also reassured residents unable to renew their visas during the lockdown. This visa extension measure means that persons with visas expiring after 1st March 2020 will not incur fines, providing their visa is renewed prior to the end of the year (or cancelled).
What type of UAE visas does the extension cover?
The visa extension covers all types of visas including, residence visas, dependents visas (spouse visas, childrens' visas and domestic worker visas) visit visas, tourist visas and mission visas.
Can I travel in and out of the UAE on my expired visa until the end of the year?
If you are planning to travel in and out of the UAE over the coming months as travel restrictions ease, then the authorities recommend that your visa is renewed prior to travelling as some airlines may not allow you to travel back to the UAE if they see your visa is expired, despite the authorities extending its validity until the end of the year.
What if my UAE visa expired before 1st March 2020?
In the instance your visa was expired prior to 1st March 2020, the UAE authorities have launched a visa amnesty enabling you to leave the country before 18th August 2020 without incurring any fines. Should you take advantage of this visa amnesty you will not be barred from entering the UAE in the future. Alternatively, if you find a new job in the UAE within this time frame, then your new employer will organize your new residence visa (employment visa) if they are also going to be your new sponsor.
What happens if my UAE residence visa was under processing when the travel restrictions were put in place?
In the instance that your UAE residence visa was being processed whilst you were outside the country and you were unable to travel into the UAE in order to complete the process, providing the entry permit has been issued, you can travel into the UAE and complete the processing of your visa. Entry permits are usually valid for a maximum of 60 days, but those which have been issued and expired after 1st March 2020 will have their validity automatically extended until 31st December 2020.
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 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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