UAE | Visa

UAE residence visa re-entry rule enforced

According to the Federal Residency Law the residence permit granted to a foreigner shall be deemed as cancelled if the period of his/her stay outside the UAE exceeds six months.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter, Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 November 1, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez, Gulf News

Dubai: Staying outside the UAE for more than six months will automatically result in the cancellation of residence visas and expatriates must then obtain new visas to enter the country again," said a senior official from the Ministry of Interior.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of Dubai Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, told Gulf News that according to the Federal Residency Law the residence permit granted to a foreigner shall be deemed as cancelled if the period of his/her stay outside the UAE exceeds six months.

"This is not a new rule and everyone should be aware of it. No one can stay outside the country for more than six months and try to enter the country without a valid residence visa," he said.

He said earlier this rule was not enforced strictly and expatriates with valid residence visas could re-enter the country by filling out a form at the airport.

The ministry has now decided to adhere to the rule strictly at all entry points in the country, he added

However, Major General Al Merri said there are exemptions to this rule in which people under specific circumstances will be allowed to enter the country even if their stay exceeded six months abroad.

Have you or someone you know ever had issues with the residency visa? Will the new law encourage residents to return to the country within six months?

Comments (11)

  1. Added 17:22 November 1, 2009

    Honestly speaking i do not understand why a resident of a country who is having a valid visa for 3 years which allows him to exit and enter the country multiple times has to be subjected to this rule. It seems its just adding extra burden.

    Othman, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:37 November 1, 2009

    Dear Editor, These s a good news, but so far, i didn't encounter the same. So what are the conditions or exemptions of approval? I also wish to extend to the authorities that they must be strict enough to screen and implement these extensions.

    Ammurh, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:11 November 1, 2009

    What happens to children who are studying outside the UAE. Also, many a spouse are forced to stay outside longer than six months because of valid reasons -like retaining their status in a third country as well to make the economic needs of the family. The work schedule/business does not make them necessarily return before six month period. The extension by the sponsor really seemed good and helped a lot. I think they should revisit the change.

    Lalitha , Dubai, India

  4. Added 14:11 November 1, 2009

    As for my suggestion, there must be exceptions for Women to allow them stay outside UAE more than 6 months, and should be allowed to enter back to UAE upon certain formalities or fee, but for males it could be 100% valid.

    Syed Alam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:14 November 1, 2009

    We hope that this rule is not for student who are studying aborad and enter the country only during holidays [i.e. once a year or after 18 months]

    Margaret, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:08 November 1, 2009

    Refer UAE residence visa re-entry rule enforced i feel its really bad news for the family people who stays away for several reason... Here i came out from Dubai to India, just for my husbad to save money and call me back in a good one bed room or two bed room flat.... Sharing with other families become very difficult and worsten.. I feel personally that the UAE government should give some time ( i mean instead of 6 months, 1 year should be granted) to all who live in the UAE for the better life.

    Sultana, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:40 November 1, 2009

    See, every contry have thier own rules. As far as we are staying here safely, we should follow the rules here without any fail. In my point of view the laws here are very safe, if we should follow with proper way.

    Mrs. Biju, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 09:37 November 1, 2009

    I am requesting the Law enforcing authority that when thay bring any new Law it should be clear to the residents. What about expat spouse? Is this Law is applied to them also.

    Khan Khalil, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:42 November 1, 2009

    Is this rule for including family visa? Hope the authorities rethink regarding this issue. better to give little more time as specified reasonable delay.

    Haris, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 05:24 November 1, 2009

    I have the UAE Residence Visa but I have been living in Canada for the past 2 years. But during this period, I have visited Dubai and stayed there for at least 6 months! When I visited Dubai after 6 months, my Dad, who is my sponsor, got my re-entry permit and I could return with no problem. But this is going to make things difficult for me. In fact now I will think twice before visiting. I was born and brought up as it will cost me bucks to do so.

    Sara Mousa, Mississauga, Canada

  11. View more comments

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