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All visit visas allow their holders to enter the UAE once or multiple times, as determined by the issuing entity. However, the visa holder is not allowed to stay in the country for more than 180 days. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/ Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE has announced new visa regulations and clarifications for expats in a new resolution.

Ali Mohammad Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security, issued Resolution No. 74 of 2022, which covers the conditions and controls under Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022, which came into effect on October 3, 2022. 

The new decision features all procedures related to the loss or damage of passports or identity cards for expats, inside or outside the country. Details of the resolution were first reported by Al Khaleej. 

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Lost passport/ID?

The decision allows expats to enter the UAE if they have lost their passport or identity card or both, and visit the competent department within three working days to complete procedures. The expats must first submit an entry request to the UAE through the smart services platform, reporting the loss.

The new decision also outlines the conditions for granting tourist visas, including that the sponsor or host should be a tourism-related institution, company, or registered body in the accredited facility card system and provide a tourism program. It also specifies the conditions for entry visas for truck drivers from land entry outlets or UAE embassies abroad, and for employees' entry visas on tourist ships and picnic boats.

Border ports

Foreigners may be granted an entry visa at adjacent border areas of land entry ports for a 90-day period. Visa holders can enter the country multiple times as long as the visa is valid, and stay every time for a period not exceeding 48 hours, provided that the holder has a valid residence visa in the adjacent border country, is a resident in it, and is not a worker. Domestic workers are excluded if accompanied by the employer or their family members, and visa holders are not allowed to work in the UAE with or without wages.

According to the decision, the Director General of Residence and Foreigners Affairs or their representative may issue an entry visa to expats who are required by relevant authorities in the UAE, based on an official request. In addition, the Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs is authorized to issue a "private entry permit" to individuals accompanying heads of state and ministers during their official visits to the UAE.

Entry Visas

The decision specifies that entry visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance, and permit the holder to stay in the country in accordance with the type of visa issued. All visit visas allow their holders to enter the UAE once or multiple times, as determined by the issuing entity. However, the visa holder is not allowed to stay in the country for more than 180 days.

Furthermore, the decision includes new regulations for issuing a visit visa to a friend or relative. These conditions apply in addition to previously announced requirements. To obtain the visa, the visitor coming to the UAE must be a friend or relative of an Emirati citizen, regardless of their degree of kinship. Alternatively, the visitor must be a first or second-degree relative of an expat residing in the UAE, in which case the resident expat must hold a job within the first or second level.

Humanitarian cases: 5 rules to sponsor relatives

The decision outlines the issuance of a residence permit that is valid for one renewable year, subject to the availability of a sponsor or host. The decision also lays out 5 conditions that must be met to issue a residence visa for expats from countries affected by wars, disasters, or unrest. These conditions include holding the nationality of a country classified as being in a state of war, disaster, or unrest, as determined by the chairman of the authority, being present in the UAE, having sufficient financial solvency, and having suitable accommodation.

The residence permit may also include family members of the applicant, whether they are inside or outside the country.

Who can be sponsored?

With regards to expat relatives, the decision specifies that those wishing to bring their relatives or their wives' relatives must meet certain requirements to obtain a residence permit. If the expat is related to an Emirati in the UAE, they must prove their kinship. If the foreigner is related to a UAE resident or their spouse, they must have the following degree of kinship: the foreigner's father, mother, or underage siblings, provided that they can financially sponsor them, or the wife's father and mother.

Additionally, the decision requires that a foreigner who wishes to bring their relatives or their wives' relatives must have adequate housing and monthly income. They are allowed to bring in up to 5 individuals if their monthly income is Dh10,000, and up to 6 individuals if their monthly income is Dh15,000. If the number of individuals exceeds 6, the chairman of the authority will determine the applicant's suitability.

Staying outside UAE

The decision outlines 3 categories of individuals exempt from having their residence visa cancelled if they stay outside of the country for more than 180 days. The residence permit will remain valid until its expiration for holders of golden visas and their families, green visas and their families, and individuals approved for exemption by the Director General of Residence and Foreigners Affairs for legitimate reasons and upon payment of the prescribed fee.

Furthermore, the decision specifies 6 categories of foreigners who are exempt from the passport validity requirement upon entering the UAE, as long as their passport is valid for at least one month. These include airplane crews, sailors, workers on board tourist and picnic ships, those with emergency entry, transit, and entry visas, and individuals entering adjacent areas.

The decision also identifies 5 categories of individuals permitted to stay in the UAE for up to 180 days after the cancellation or expiration of their residence permit. These include holders of golden and green visas and their families, foreign widows and divorced expats residing in the UAE, students continuing their studies after graduation, and spouses, parents, and children of Emiratis or foreign passport holders.

Only two categories of individuals are permitted to stay in the country for 90 days after visa cancellation or visa expiration: skilled professionals from the first, second, and third levels, and property owners. Holders of visas issued by sponsors or hosts are allowed to stay for 60 days, while all other categories are only permitted to stay for 30 days.