UAE Visa has seen several new updates since the advanced visa system was introduced in October 2022. The country strives to become the ideal country for work, investment, entrepreneurship, education, and quality of life. As a result, it recently implemented new visa rules that introduce new types of entry visas and residence permits.
New UAE visa updates
1. One-year visa extension for separated, divorced & widow women.
The UAE grants women an extension of one year on their residence visa, if they are divorced or widowed — living in the country on their husband’s visa.
The extension starts from the date of the death of her husband or the divorce, is renewable for one time only and does not require a substitute sponsor.
The extension applies to the woman’s children as well, provided they were on their father’s visa at the time of their father’s death or their parents’ divorce.
According to the official UAE government portal:
- The visas of the woman and her children must have been valid at the time of the death or the divorce
- The duration of the child’s/children’s residence visa should not exceed that of the mother
2. Validity of all types of UAE entry visas extended for 60 more days
According to the new rule, 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.
3. Increased income limit to sponsor relatives
For UAE residents to sponsor foreigners, the following degree of kinship must exist: father, mother, underage siblings, or the spouse’s father and mother—if they can support them financially.
According to the new visa rule, expats can sponsor up to five relatives if they have a monthly income of Dhs10,000 and they can sponsor up to six individuals if their monthly income is Dhs15,000.
If the number of individuals exceeds 6, the chairman of the authority will determine the applicant’s suitability.
4. Lost passport/ID holders
The decision allows UAE residents who have lost their passport, or identity card, or both while outside the country to enter the UAE and meet the clear criteria within three working days to fulfill the necessary formalities. The expat must first submit an entry request to the UAE through the smart services platform, reporting the loss.
The entry permit requests are processed by the consular section of the UAE embassy in the country where the passport is lost.
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.
5. Visa for 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 not permitted in the UAE, regardless of whether they are paid or not, unless they are sponsored by the employer or their family.
6. UAE residents can sponsor friends, family with 90 day refundable Dubai visa
Residents in the UAE, particularly in Dubai can now apply for visit visas for their friends and family. The new visa can grant applicants a 90 or 180-day visit visa. The host is required to pay a refundable deposit of AED1,000 for the visa, the report said, adding that it could come up to 1,770 inclusive of typing charges.
Individuals can apply through the ICP website smartservices.icp.gov.ae or through the GDFRA website. Applications can also be made through the ICP mobile application ‘UAEICP’.
7. Cancellation of Residence Visa
If an individual without claiming the information stays outside the country for more than 180 days then their residence visa would be cancelled.
However, for holders of golden visas and their families, green visas and their families, as well as individuals approved for exemption by the Director General of Residence and Foreigners Affairs for legitimate reasons and upon payment of the prescribed fee, will have their residence permits remain in effect until they expire.
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.
Other updates include:
- The addition of the reference number (PRAN NUMBER) for identity requests to the financial receipt, in addition to stopping the delegates’ service, the facilities’ fund services, and all related features and verification mechanisms.
- Addition of Dh100 as a smart service fee to the cost of a visa and Emirates ID, in accordance with approved conditions.
- Group family visa for tourism, treatment and patient companion, for single and multiple entries issued for a period of 60 days and 180 days.
- Exemption for ‘people of determination’ citizens from fingerprinting when submitting applications for the issuance, renewal, and replacement of passports.
- Services offered for cancelling and amending visa data in the accounts of GCC citizens without an Emirates ID.
- The extension of visit visa of a relative or friend for single or multiple entries allowed for a period of 30, 60, and 90 days in the individual’s accounts.
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