Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: All UAE expats exempted from visa fines

Marie Nammour /Dubai Filed on May 14, 2020 | Last updated on May 14, 2020 at 07.45 am
Combating coronavirus, covid19, UAE expats, exempted, fines

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Three-month grace period from May 18 set for residency violators expats to avail of fines exemption.

A grace period of three months, starting from May 18, has been set for all expats who are staying in the UAE in violation of the UAE Foreigners' Residency and Entry Law, said a senior official of the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (FAIC).

During a virtual Press briefing for the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) on Wednesday, Brigadier Khamis Al Kaabi, official spokesperson of the FAIC, said that as per a gesture from the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Cabinet issued an order, exempting all expats, including holders of entry permits and residency visas, whose violations of the law happened on or after March 1.

"We urge all expats to register at the FAIC portal to avail of the grace period that shall start on May 18 up to three months. All breaches related to expired Emirates IDs and labour cards will also be cancelled," Brigadier Al Kaabi pointed out.

Al Kaabi added that the decision includes exemption from all fines relating to ID cards and expired work permits incurred by beneficiaries.

Al Kaabi also stated that the directives of Sheikh Khalifa included in the UAE Cabinet's decision would not prevent beneficiaries from returning to the country in the future, provided they meet the requirements and take advantage of the departure period.

Al Kaabi further said that the Authority would announce details of all application procedures and urges all groups covered by the decision to take advantage of the opportunity before the deadline, in order to avoid legal action and be prevented from entering the country in the future.

Separately, Al Kaabi expressed his appreciation for the feedback of users of the Authority's services, noting that since the Authority began encouraging the public to use its smart services, 1.5 million transactions have been completed.

He also urged the community to continue using the Authority's smart services platform as their main channel to complete transactions.


Meanwhile, the UAE Government announced that an additional 511 patients had recovered from Covid-19 after receiving the necessary medical care, raising the total number of recoveries to 6,523.

This was revealed during the regular media briefing held on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi by Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government, and Brigadier Khamis Al Kaabi, official spokesman for the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, who spoke about the entity's latest announcements.

Al Shamsi also said that efforts by front-line workers continue as part of the nationwide expansion of testing. The ratio of recorded cases to total tests to date has been estimated at 1.3 per cent.

Al Shamsi affirmed that this ratio and the sheer number of tests conducted affirm the efficiency and strength of the country's healthcare system and highlight the efforts of front-line workers, including doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and volunteers, who are working around the clock to ensure the continuity of testing and thereby limit the spread of the virus.

Three deaths were announced from different nationalities, bringing the number of deaths registered in the country to 206.

Al Shamsi offered her sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed to Allah the Almighty to grant patience and solace to their families.

The number of Covid-19 cases still receiving treatment now stands at 13,657 from different nationalities.

Al Shamsi stated that under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, free testing for UAE citizens would begin next week under the framework of the country's preventative measures to counter Covid-19.

Al Shamsi also highlighted His Highness' directives to offer free testing around the country to various groups, including service workers in the homes of UAE citizens, such as drivers, caretakers, and other support workers, as well as people of determination, pregnant women, residents over 50 years old, individuals with coronavirus symptoms, and the close contacts of coronavirus patients.

Al Shamsi said that the relevant health authorities would determine procedures for testing and their locations for individuals and target groups and would announce them through official channels while appealing to all members of the public to cooperate with health authorities to ensure the testing programme's success.

In a message to the community, she said: "We are at an important stage in dealing with the virus, and containing it requires everyone to take responsibility by committing to eliminate it. Complacency will cause more infections and prolong the spread of the virus. Therefore, care must be taken to adopt precautionary measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding gatherings, and wearing face masks."


Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, Lebanese community-related affairs and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, Marie worked as an in-house reporter, covering international affairs for the LBCI and the LBC Sat (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International), a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for Sagesse, a renowned law college in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Marie speaks fluently Arabic, French, English and Spanish. She is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and of the French literature.

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