UAE Cabinet Announces Grace Period For ALL Residents With Expired Visas

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
UAE Cabinet Announces Grace Period For ALL Residents With Expired Visas

The UAE Cabinet on 10 July issued a number of amendments to the decisions issued recently in the identity and nationality sector. The decisions on visas that were implemented when the pandemic broke out, have now been changed. The cabinet has cancelled the extension of visas until the end of this year. In addition, a new grace period has been announced for all residents, Emirates and GCC citizens.

In June, a short-term amnesty was announced. Holders of residency and visit visasthat expired on 1 March 2020 were given until 1 August 2020 to leave the country without incurring any fines. The rule applies to people who were in the country before 1 March, but without a valid visa. The rule applied to workers with expired permits, jobseekers on expired visit visas and people working without any documents. But, it did not apply to people who have lost their job since March 1, who must pay a AED 200 one-off fee and a fine of AED 25 per day.

From expired visas and Emirates ID to fines for violations, here’s everything you need to know about UAE’s new visa decision. On that note, here’s Everything You Need To Know About Cancelled UAE Visas.

1. What happens to visa and Emirates ID expired in March?

Earlier, the UAE Cabinet announced that residency and visit visas that expired after 1 March 2020, will be valid until the end of the year- 31 December, 2020. However, this decision has now been amended. The validity of visas and entry permits that was extended until the end of December this year has been cancelled. Identity cards that expired on March 1, will now be deemed invalid.

“All the decisions related to the residency of expatriates, visas, entry permits and ID cards are stopped with effect from July 11, while the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has been assigned to start collecting the fees due for providing the services from July 12.”

Check this Guide To Bring Your Family On A Residence Visa To UAE.

2. How much time do you have to renew your documents?

Emiratis, GCC citizens and residents in the UAE, will be given three months to renew your documents. ICA will start collecting fees for providing their services from Sunday, July 12, 2020.

Emiratis and GCC citizens who have been outside the country for less than 6 months will get one month for renewal. The grace period will be considered from the date of their arrival in the UAE. The new resolutions will come into effect from Saturday, July 11, 2020.

3. Will there be any fines for violations?

Administrative fees or fines will be collected after the end of the mentioned deadlines. However, no fines will be collected during the exemption period. The Cabinet will start collecting fees from from July 12. On that note, here’s what has changed about getting a driving license in the UAE.

4. Where should I go to renew documents? 

The UAE will start renewing expired ID cards and visas from 12 July.  The process will start with the renewal for residency visas and ID cards that expired between March and April. Here’s the timeline for other renewals:

  • For those that expired in May- August 8.
  • For those that expired between June 1 and July 11- From September 10
  • For those expiring July 12 onwards- the renewal applications are not restricted to a specific date.
Services will also be available online, in order to limit crowding at customer service centres. All service departments must accept renewed electronic identity cards. Take a look at the 7 free online services now available in UAE.

5. What happens to unused visit visas?

All unused issued visit visas have been automatically cancelled as on 17 March, 2020. There will be no refund for auto cancelled visit visas, as per GDRFA policy. Meanwhile, here’s Everything You Need To Know About UAE Tourist Visa For Indians.