Dubai: If you are currently visiting the UAE on a tourist visa, it is important to note that if you plan to extend your stay you will only be able to extend the visa once, for a period of 30 days.
Last week, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) stated to Gulf News that the decision to extend a one-time visit visa for 30 days only was issued several weeks ago and is being implemented in accordance with a decision issued by the UAE Cabinet.
So, if you are planning to come to the UAE on a visit visa, or are currently already in the UAE, here are the details of the visa application and extension process that you need to be aware of.
The extension can only be done by the sponsor of the original entry permit
Fahad K A, Visa coordinator at Deira Travel and Tourist Agency, spoke to Gulf News about the changes and what visitors should know to extend their visa easily.
“If a tourist agency applied for your visa, you would have to go to them for your extension. Whichever agency applied for your visa, only they can extend that visa,” he said.
If you do wish to stay for longer in the UAE, you would need to exit the country and then apply for a new tourist visa, on which you can enter the country. Many travel agencies also provide an ‘A2A’ service, which refers to an airport-to-airport service, that visitors use to exit the UAE and then return once a new visa is issued. However, it is important to remember that this is subject to the visa application by the agency being approved by the authorities.
Adnan Khan, operation manager at Siddique Haider Corporate Services Provider, advised visitors to always be aware of any such changes in regulations and seek professional advice. To find out about your specific visa application, you can either contact the ICP customer happiness centre – 600 522222 – or the Amer contact centre – 800 5111.
“It is really important to make sure you stay in the UAE as per the duration of your visa, or you may face legal issues because of overstaying your visa,” he said.
Visit visa options
According to the statement by ICP, people can apply for a 30-, 60- or 90-day visa through the ICP website – icp.gov.ae – or the smartphone application ‘UAE ICP’, under the ‘Visit Visa For Friend or Relative’ category. This means that if you are a UAE resident, you can use this service to apply for a 30-, 60- or 90-day visa.
• Recent passport size coloured photograph of the relative or friend.
• Proof of kinship (birth or marriage certificate) – this is required in case you are sponsoring your family member’s visit visa.
• A copy of the relative’s or friend’s valid passport.
• A copy of your Emirates ID.
• Proof of residence for the sponsored. Here you may be able to provide your rental contract or details of the hotel reservation for the relative or friend.
• Copy of the return ticket.
For a step-by-step guide on how you can apply for this visa, click here.
How do I extend the visa?
As mentioned earlier, if your visa was issued by a tourist agency, you would need to approach them once again to ask for an extension. If you are here on a visit visa sponsored by your relative or friend, they can visit a typing centre that is registered with the ICP. These typing centres can be found all across the UAE and you can find all the locations here: https://icp.gov.ae/en/typing-offices/
If you are in Dubai, apart from typing centres, you can also visit an Amer centre. Amer centres processes immigration applications on behalf of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFAD) and you can find the list of all centres located in Dubai here: https://gdrfad.gov.ae/en/customer-happiness-centers#
When you do apply for the extension, it will be issued only once and for one month only, as per the latest statement by the ICP.
How much does the visa extension cost?
According to ICP, the extension for a period of 30 days costs Dh750.