Abu Dhabi: All illegal residents whose visas expired before March 1, 2020 will need a valid passport or travel document and airline ticket in order for their fines to be waived while they exit the country, an official said on Monday.
Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director General of Foreigners’ Affairs and Ports at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said that people with entry or residency permits that expired before March 1, 2020, will not have to pay fines and only need to have passport and airline ticket to leave the country.
Earlier, UAE authorities had announced a waiver of visa violation fines for people whose visas expired or got cancelled before March 1 if they could leave the country before August 18. This would give these residents a grace period of three months (from May 18 when the waiver was announced) to arrange their return. Such visa holders would also be exempt from procedures that block re-entry in to the UAE i.e. they could come back to the country with new visas if and when that happens.
Residence vs. tourist or visit visa
Maj Gen Al Rashidi said that for a violator with an expired residency permit before March 1, all they need to do is to go to the airport with a valid passport and an airline ticket to depart from the UAE without paying fines.
However, for holders of expired visit or tourist visas, they need to make sure they arrive at the airport at least six hours before time of departure to benefit from the waiver.
For expired visit or tourist visas
The waiver procedures for expired entry permits (visit or tourist visas) change depending on where the person would be travelling from.
In Dubai, for example, he or she would need to report to special checking stations 48 hours before departure while in other emirates, the procedures are at the airports.
“The person with an expired entry permit needs to go to the airports six hours earlier before the departure time at Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah airports to process his departure. However, if he or she is willing to depart from Dubai then he needs to go to the checking centre 48 hours before the departing time,” Maj Gen Al Rashidi said during a virtual conference on Monday.
Dubai checking centres are; Al Qusais Police Station, Civil Aviation Security Centre and deportation centre near Terminal 2.
“The checking devices are installed at all airports but in Dubai violators need to go to those centres 48 hours before departing due to some challenges. We placed the checking devices near the airport at the mentioned centres,” Maj Gen Al Rashidi added.
Violators willing to benefit from the visa waiver order can travel from any airport in the UAE.
“People under age of 15 and people of determination were exempted from going to checking centres,” Maj Al Rashidi said.
The order to waive fines was issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan last month.
The presidential order includes a full waiver of fines for people with expired entry or residency permits willing to leave the country between May 18 to August 18, 2020.
“The order includes a waiver of fines on expired Emirates ID, work permits, absconding violators from their sponsors and violators of work contracts,” said Maj-Gen Al Rashidi.
The new order will exempt the visa violator from paying the fines, paying departing fees, paying the fines of worker card and contract and paying the fees of departure permit.
For people who are sponsoring others and staying illegally in the country, they can benefit from the order but need to leave the country with the people he or she is sponsoring.
“All fines will be waived if illegal residents leave the country before August 18.”
Maj Gen Al Rashidi said that people can call 800453 for any enquiry.
The call centre will be operating between 8am until 10pm, except on holidays.
How to waive your visa fines
- If you have expired UAE residency before March 1, 2020, then buy one way ticket, take your passport and go to the airport
- If you have expired entry permits like visit or tourist visa before March 1, 2020, then get your ticket, prepare your passport and go to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or RAK airport six hours before the departure.
- If you choose to travel through Dubai, then visit checking centers 48 hours before departure.
- Dubai checking centers are:
- Al Qusais police station, Civil Aviation Security Center and deportation center near terminal 2.