The UAE Cabinet has announced a three-month grace period for GCC passport holders and UAE residents to renew their visa and residency documents.
The move comes as the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) resumes charging administrative fees for visa services from Sunday.
The latest amendments apply to all residents, including GCC nationals whose resident permits expired after March 1.
For Emiratis, the documents refer to the validity of their Emirates identity cards.
The announcement on Friday also covered residents outside the UAE who have not been able to return within 180 days.
The National spoke to Haider Hussain, a partner at Fragomen, an immigration services company, to explain the updates.
This covers people with existing UAE residence permits whose visas have expired after March 1 and those with visas expected to expire in the coming months.
For GCC nationals, it refers to non-sponsored GCC identity and emirates identity card.
For Emiratis it applies to their emirates identity cards.
For people inside the UAE whose residence permit expires after March 1, they now have a three-month grace period starting from July 11. They must renew their visas prior to October 11.
Earlier residence permits expiring post March 1 were automatically renewed until the end of December to mitigate for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As of July 11, the residency extensions until the end of the year are no longer applicable.
This covers everybody who holds a UAE residence permit that expired after March 1. It covers dependents, employees and maids.
Log in to the government portal and enter your residence permit details, check the expiry date so you are clear about when a renewal is required.
Fines will be charged for residents inside the UAE, if the residence visa is not renewed within the three-month grace period.
To verify visa validity on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship portal or ICA, visit this website.
Dubai residents can check on the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs portal.
For those in the country, the residency visa violation fine is Dh25 per day.
When leaving the country, the fine is Dh250 plus Dh25 per day.
There is also Dh20 per day fine for failure to renew an Emirates identity card, that can go up to Dh 1,000.
Those sponsoring dependents or housemaids should check the portals for the new expiry dates and renew before the grace period ends.
If they have not been out of UAE for more than 180 days, they have one month after they enter to renew their residency visa.
The implementation will be clear in the coming weeks for residents whose visas expired after March 1 and have been out of the country for more than 180 days. A specific grace period will be determined by the ICA.
Residents will be permitted to enter the UAE. Once flights resume between the country they are currently in and the UAE, they need to get ICA or GDRFA approval.
The understanding is the grace period will be 30 days.
Medical tests are back. For those who renew their residency visas, the earlier renewal process remains. During stay home restrictions for the coronavirus, residents received an electronic sticker online to show the visa was extended.
From now on, the renewed residency visa will be stamped on their passport.
Authorities have released a schedule for filling renewal applications. Details will later be available about whether this applies across the UAE.
For residency visas and emirates identity cards that expired in March and April 2020, the date to resume acceptance of renewal requests is from July 12, 2020, as per the ICA.
For expirations in May, the date is August 11, 2020.
For documents that expired in June and until July 11, the date is September 10, 2020.
Residents should renew their residency visa before they travel out of the UAE. Despite the grace period, there could be issues at the airport if updates are not reflected in the system.
Before travelling, people leaving Dubai should also get General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs approval. This works as an entry permit for residents that they need to secure before they exit the UAE.
If your residency visa expires after March 1, you fall in the same category as those with residency visas and can follow the same process of renewal.
There is a provision to amend a tourist visa to a local visa. For children above 18 years and studying abroad, certain criteria must be met and it will be judged on a humanitarian, case by case basis. If the case is genuine and the person cannot exit the UAE, approval may be given by authorities.
It can depend on the terms of the tourist visa – whether it is 30 or 90 days.
Students who came into the UAE on tourist visas because universities overseas shut down due to the coronavirus will need to renew if the renewal option exits on their visa.
Those with family in the UAE and who can apply for sponsorship based on their nationality can get a visa on arrival and stay 90 or 180 days.
If the main sponsor is in the UAE and the mother and newborn are overseas, they can file for an ‘out of country’ permit online through the Amer centre.
For Abu Dhabi and other emirates, they can file on the ICA portal for a new born return even if the child does not have a residency permit. They can then get a permit when in the country.
They have 30 days to find an employer or find a new job. Failing this, they should exit the UAE within 30 days. They can also apply for an in-country 30 or 90-day tourist visa.
The overstay fines payable per day after one month grace is Dh225 for the first day and Dh25 for each subsequent day.
As per the earlier guidance, they have until August 18 to leave. The updated notification does not cover people whose permits were cancelled before March.
This applies to Dubai since it has opened up to international flights.
A company based inside a free zone can apply for an entry permit for people outside the UAE.
Such ‘out of country’ entry permits are being filed and approved so people can come into the UAE for a new relocation. The person will need to complete medical fitness tests.
As you complete the renewal process, during the filing if there is an issue, you can check with the Tadbeer centres or Amer service centres to address such cases.
Source: The National