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Dubai: Did you know that you don’t have to exit the UAE in order to renew your visit visa to the country?

There are a number of options available from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA), as well as UAE-based travel agents for visit visa renewals.

The best part is that you don’t have to exit the country anymore. This offers convenience to those who prefer to stay in the UAE and have their visit visa renewed.

An Indian expat who just renewed her parents’ visit visa said this is especially convenient for elderly parents on a visit.

“As well as for those who on the temporary visa have found recently found a job. They don’t have to leave the country to renew their visa,” the expat said.

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Get your parents to the UAE on visit without paying the additional security deposit Image Credit: Rex Features

Tourist visa for: Who is it for?

According to the GDRFA, tourist visas are for those who are not eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE. Tourist visa can be obtained for individual tourists from around the world. Women below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa, unless they are travelling with their parents.

According to a UAE Cabinet resolution passed in July 2018, children under the age of 18 years who are accompanying adults can get a free visa for their visit from July 15 to September 15 each year.

What is the validity of a tourist visa?

Depending on your plan, tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30-day or 90-day duration, single entry or multiple entry.

Can one apply for a visit visa through airlines?

Yes. Licensed travel agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you provided you purchase the ticket through them and maintain hotel reservation with the specific hotel.

Each airline has some conditions, which must be met in order for your visa to be arranged by them. One of the conditions is flying with them. Logging onto the airlines websites will help.

The applicant can also apply from a travel agent in your home country to apply for tourist visas.

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There are a number of options available from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA), as well as UAE based travel agents for visit visa renewals Image Credit: COURTESY: GDRFA

How to renew your visit visa?

Gulf News did a quick scan of GDRFA and travel agents’ websites to find out just how to renew temporary visas.

According to GDRFA, all types of visit and tourist visas can be extended for 30 days twice upon renewal without the need to leave the country.

Visitors and tourists can apply for the second renewal before the expiry of the first one by just paying Dh600 each time of renewal.

Over staying fine

Visa overstayers who do not renew, as above, will have to pay Dh100 fine for each day of their overstay, to be calculated from 10 days after the visa expiry.

Where visit visa extension rule does not apply 

However, the rule for extension does not apply on the following categories:

• visitors and tourists who are residents in GCC countries

• residents accompanying GCC nationals

• those on special entry permits

• those on 96-hour permit for special missions

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Depending on the status of the expat sponsor, residence visas for family to UAE can be issued for one, two or three years Image Credit: COURTESY: GDRFA

Packages offered by travel agents in UAE for visa renewal

Airport to Airport visa change

Cost is Dh1,400 and this price includes air-fare

Inside country visa change

Cost is Dh2,200

A travel agent based in Dubai said renewing your visit visa without exiting the country can be a bit more expensive than an airport to airport visa change.

It is an easier method and there is no need to exit the country. "Just imaginine the convenience it can be done sitting in the comfort of your house."

How to get this done through an agent

  • Contact an agent three days before the visa expiry in order to have it renewed.
  • Agents ask you to contact them three days before visa expiry in order to process the new renewal request.
  • The service is available on working days Sunday to Thursday.

Documents required for visa renewal

  • Copy of applicant’s passport first page and last page.
  • The passport should have a minimum validity of six months.
  • A clear passport-size color photo with white background