Cancelling your residency visa is not too difficult a task to undertake Image Credit: Archive

Cancelling your UAE residence visa is relatively straight forward. The process is far easier than applying for one.

In most cases, your company’s PRO will take care of the bulk of the work, but it is always best to know what is involved, because ultimately it is your peace of mind that's at stake.

This process will also help husbands or wives sponsoring their spouses and/or children in case the visa needs to be cancelled. The process is also the same for cancelling residence visas of elderly parents

This is an informative guide and should only be taken as such. Talk to a GDRFA representative, call 8005111 or visit a typing centre to know exact costs, required documents and other details on a case to case basis. Gulf News is not responsible for any misinterpretation, amendments to the law or processes.

Before you can cancel your visa

If you are leaving the UAE permanently, then before you cancel your visa you must tie up any loose ends. This includes closing your bank account, paying off debts, selling your car, and cancelling your tenancy agreement and utility bills.

If you are sponsoring any dependents on your visa, such as a husband or wife, children, or maid, then their respective visas must be cancelled first (the same procedure applies to them).

There are two ways to cancel your visa. One is by physically visiting a typing office and the other is to do the process online. 


Step 1

Once you have formally resigned from your job, ensure that you confirm your settlement with your employer. Be sure you know exactly what is owed to you.

Do not sign any statement of confirmed settlement until you've actually received your payments including gratuity, repatriations expenses or air fare, and other agreed upon benefits.

Step 2

  1. If you're working, the sponsor/company should start the visa cancellation by submitting required documents to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, from where a clearance statement will be issued.
  2. Visit a typing office, of which there are hundreds located all over the UAE. 
  3. Carry documents including copies of your sponsor's passport and his/her visa page copy, your original passport and Emirates ID card, MOHRE clearance statement etc.
  4. Tell the typing office that you wish to cancel yours or your dependent’s visas (theirs first if yours is getting cancelled); this will cost up to Dh110. The sponsor should bear this cost for you, while you bear the cost for your sponsored dependents.
  5. They will prepare the application within five minutes. Both you and the sponsor will have to sign the application, as well as have it stamped by the typing office (and your sponsor if he/she is your employer).

Important note At the bottom of the cancellation application, you will be signing to confirm that you have received your final settlement.

Do not sign the application until you have in fact received your gratuity payment or any other outstanding amounts. This includes your air fare. Sadly, there are some employers who may try to cheat you out of some of it.

Step 3

  1. Once the cancellation application has been signed by both yourself and the sponsor, you must visit the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA); see directions below. The typing office could also help you get started on the process online.
  2. Cancellation should ideally be processed through the GDRFA that stamped the residence visa in the first place.

  3. You must have with you a copy of the sponsor’s passport and visa page, as well as your original passport and Emirates ID card.

  4. Your Emirates ID card will be taken from you, and your passport will be stamped and returned. You now have 30 days to exit the UAE.
  5. If you are simply changing jobs and remaining in the UAE, then you must hand over the signed cancellation application, as well as your passport to your new employer in order to get your new visa stamped in your passport.
  6. Your passport should be returned to you in about two weeks' time after your passport has been stamped. According to UAE regulations, it is illegal for an employer to hold on to your passport after the visa has been stamped on it.


Important note: In 2009 the various residence ministries across the UAE were renamed the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). Don’t get confused if you hear them referred to by their older names, such as the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) or Department of Immigration.

Abu Dhabi Located on Saada Street. From the Corniche, take Shaikh Zayed Street southbound following signs to Dubai. Go through the Shaikh Zayed Tunnel. After the tunnel, prepare to move into the right hand lane, turn right onto Saada Street at the two pine cone buildings. Continue straight over the two crossroads. The GDRFA is on your right.

Dubai There are several branch offices of GDRFA around the city, but for cancellation it is always better to go to the head office. From Trade Centre Roundabout, take the D88 exit onto Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road. At the crossroad with Shaikh Rashid Road, make a U-Turn and head back down Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road. Take the second exit onto 36th Street. Parking will be on your right.


People can now submit the applications to cancel their residency online.

In order to complete the residency cancellation, make sure you visit GDRFA with your original passport and Emirates ID directly after submitting the application.

Click here to apply for your visa cancellation online