Staff at General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
Staff at General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. Image Credit: Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Expats are rethinking their plans and seeking more information after the UAE on Friday amended a number of resolutions regarding visas.

The changes include cancelling an earlier decision to extend the validity of visas and entry permits for those in the UAE from March 1 until December 31.

Instead, a three-month grace period has been given for residents to renew their residency visas.

Holders of visit visas expiring after March 1 and residents whose visas were cancelled because of job loss are among those seeking further guidance.

“My mum’s visit visa expiry was in May but the system showed – and still shows – that it will expire on December 31, as per the earlier decision to extend the validity of visas till the end of the year. Our plan was she would stay with us until December. Now, with the latest announcement, we’re not sure what’s our next step,” a Pakistani expat speaking on condition of anonymity told Gulf News.

“Will she also have the three-month grace period? Will that grace period be calculated from the original date of expiry, or from July 11 – the date the new resolution comes into effect?”

The file validity can be checked from the smart services link of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship on its website,

A former residency visa holder, who is staying in the UAE on a visit visa, said she is trying to plan her next move. The Indian national’s three-month visit visa expired in April and she stayed on believing there would be no issues until December 31.

“Someone called the [visa application service provider] and they said the visit visas expiring after May 1 will be given a three-month grace period starting from July 12. I’m also checking myself what’s going on,” she said.

Another Indian national, a housewife in Sharjah, said her children’s residency visas expire in August.

“When we had heard about the extension till December 31, we thought we will renew the visas in December so we don’t have to pay the application fees in August or September, which is an expensive period for us because of school fees and rent. I suppose with the three-month extension just announced, it means we have till November to complete all formalities without getting fined,” she added.

“When we checked online, my son’s visa still shows it is valid till December 31.”