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The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) office in Dubai. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News/archive

Dubai: Residents in the UAE can renew their residency permits if they are still inside the country, an official told Gulf News.

Residents who are transferring their residency to a different sponsor inside the country can still do so too.

Moreover, if a person has cancelled his residency and cannot leave the country due to the spread of COVID-19, he can change his status by applying for a visit visa through tourist agencies, the official said.

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Meanwhile, as things stand, people with a valid UAE residency but are out of the country for more than 180 days, will have their residency cancelled if they don’t arrive in the UAE before the grace period.

However, the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has requested them to contact UAE diplomatic missions in their respective countries for all necessary support and to streamline their return to the UAE.

However, such people are advised to check with the concerned authority after two weeks for any updates or new instructions.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has urged the families of those affected by to get in touch with the ICA via the following contact numbers to get updated on all the measures they have to pursue:

• Phone: 02 3128867 or 02 3128865

• Mobile: 0501066099

• Email: operation@ica.gov.ae

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has established a round-the-clock helpline to help holders of valid residence permits abroad. Call: 0097124965228 or 0097192083344.