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Passengers going through the passport control at Dubai International airport terminal 3 Image Credit: Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Students can be exempted from the rule that states residency visas stand to be cancelled if they stay more than six months out of the UAE, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai has said.

Major Salem Bin Ali director of Amer Client Happiness Centre in GDRFA Dubai told Gulf News in a live Facebook interview that despite the residency permit automatically getting cancelled if residents stay outside the country for six months, there are some exceptions, like students.

“If a student has a valid residency and has stayed more than six months outside the country, they can be exempted. They need to prove that they had an exam which forced them to stay for more than six months in order to keep their residency,” Maj Bin Ali said.

Major Bin Ali advised residents to contact the Amer call centre on Toll-free number 8005111 from within the UAE and 0097143139999 from outside the UAE to get answers on any questions concerning visa requirements and GDRFA services in the UAE.

A reader from outisde the UAE sought help from GDRFA-Dubai on the live interview asking if she would lose her residency as her passport had been stolen.

“If a resident is outside the UAE and the passport is stolen or lost, then he or she needs to go to the UAE embassy to get a letter to facilitate their entry to the UAE again,” he answered.

Meanwhile, GDRFA Dubai said that customers facing technical issues while applying online for entry permits, new residency, renewal of residency and other services can also contact the toll free number.

“Any problems, suggestions or complaints about our online services on GDRFA Dubai website or smart application can get addressed by phoning the Amer call centre which operates 24 hours all through the week,” Major Bin Ali added.

Moreover, customers can send emails to for any inquires about GDRFA services.

“We have more than 50 employees answering public enquiries round the clock. Our employees are trained to settle problems over the phone,” he added.

How do you prove you have an exam?

The student should bring a letter from the university stating that he had an exam that required him to stay for more than six months outside the UAE, and have the letter stamped from the UAE Embassy in the country [where the student is studying] in order to be exempted and enter the UAE with his valid residency.

Get your visa queries answered by calling:

  • Amer call centre on Toll-free number 8005111 from within the UAE
  • 0097143139999 from outside