Dubai: October 11, Sunday, marks the end of the three-month grace period announced by UAE authorities on July 10 for certain expired residence visa holders to renew their residency. This grace period was allowed specifically for UAE residents and GCC passport holders inside the country whose visas expired anytime between from March 1 to July 11, which was during the COVID-19 restrictions on travel from the UAE.
This decision also revoked the extended validity timeline initially announced, which was until December 2020. On July 12, UAE’s Identity and Citizenship Authority (ICA) resumed renewal services for residence visas.
Starting today, those residents whose Emirates ID cards expired in the mentioned time frame will have to pay fines before leaving the country or renewing their visas. For residence visas, fines for overstaying after the grace period start at Dh125 for the first day and 25 for every subsequent day. If a person overstays for more than 6 months, this daily charge goes up to Dh50, and after a year, it rises to Dh100 for each day spent inside the UAE on an expired visa.
What if my visa expired after July 11?
If your residence visa expired after July 11, you do not fall under the special three-month grace period. You are only allowed the usual 30-day grace period post expiry to renew the visa. In this case, fines will be charged starting the first day after the mandatory one-month grace period. So, if your visa expired on July 12, you had only until August 11 to renew your visa.
What if my visa is valid and I am outside the UAE?
A top official at Dubai’s General Directorate of Foreign Affairs and Residency told Gulf News in a Q&A session that valid residency visa holders who have spent more than 180 days [6 months] outside the country can still return. As long as their residency remains valid, GDRFA said, such residents can return given air space between their country and UAE is open.
However, if you are not a Dubai resident, check with ICA for your visa validity and possibility of return.
Can I get a new job visa?
Until October 5, UAE had not allowed new employment visa issuance. However, the country has now started issuing work permits and new visas for employees in certain vital sectors only. So, if you manage to find a job in one of these vital sectors your employer could get a new visa for you. However, fines are still applicable for each day of overstay without renewal or new visa.