Dubai: UAE residents whose visas expired after March 1, 2020, have been given an automatic extention by the authorities until the end of this year. However, if any of those residents wish to travel abroad, they ought to renew their residency permits before they travel, an official cautioned.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (DGRFA) in Dubai said that according to the directives of the UAE Government, all residents with expired permits after March 1, will have their permits extended until December 31, 2020. However, they may face a problem if they leave the UAE and try to come back, said Major Salim Bin Ali, director of the Amer Department for the Happiness of Customers at the GDRFA in Dubai.
The reason is that when someone goes outside the UAE and wants to return, authorities at the country from where he or she wants to board a flight back to the UAE may not allow the person concerned to board the plane when they see that the residency visa of the traveller has expired.
“Residents whose permits expired after March 1, 2020, will enjoy automatic extension until the end of the year without paying fines,” said Bin Ali. “However, it is better for them to renew their residency especially if they plan to travel outside the UAE for vacation or any other reason, as they might have difficulties when returning back to the UAE,” he added.
With the country easing flight restrictions, holders of permits that expired after March 1, 2020, can travel outside as their permits are automatically renewed in the system.
“But I can’t make sure the airlines outside the UAE will allow them to travel back as the residency sticker will show an expired date,” said Bin Ali. “They will check the validity of the UAE residency on the passports before allowing passengers to depart for the UAE. It is recommended to renew their residency while they are inside the country,” he advised.
According to Major Bin Ali, residents can renew their residency permits through online platforms or from Amer centres without the need for a medical check and by paying the same government fees.
Bin Ali also told Gulf News that holders of UAE visit or tourist visas that expire after March will enjoy the extension of their visas until the end of December 2020.
“All entry permits that expire after March 1, 2020, will be valid until the end of the year,” he said. “The government’s decision aims to lessen the impact of precautionary measures taken by the country to tackle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country,” he added.
He said holders of residency visas that expire after March 1, 2020, and who are still outside the country, will have their visas considered as valid until December 31, 2020.
He urged all community members, citizens, expatriate residents and visitors, who have any queries or questions, to contact the Amer call centre on 8005111.
Bin Ali said that all visa violators before March 1, 2020, will be exempt from fines -- thanks to last month’s order by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“People with entry or residency permits that expire before March 1, 2020, will not have to pay fines. The presidential order includes a full waiver of fines for people with expired entry or residency permits, willing to leave the country after May 18. This grace period will last for another three months, until August 1, 2020.”
He said this includes waiver of fines on expired Emirates ID cards and work permits.
“As it was announced before, there will be no ban on people who apply for the waiver and leave the UAE. Those who stand to benefit from this can book a ticket and go to the airport without paying fines,” Bin Ali confirmed.