Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: How you can avail of UAE visa validity extension

Marie Nammour /Dubai Filed on April 15, 2020 | Last updated on April 15, 2020 at 05.22 pm
coronavirus, covid-19, residence visa, emirates id, visit visa, renewal

Senior Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship official answers key questions.

The UAE made a major announcement on Monday about extending the validity of all residency visas, entry permits and Emirates IDs till the end of 2020. A top official has now said that the process will be automatic. This means that you won't have to renew your documents if they expired after March 1, 2020. The validity is automatically extended until December 31, 2020.

In an interview with Abu Dhabi Radio, Brigadier Khamis Al Kaabi, official spokesperson of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC), clarified multiple points about the scheme. Here is all you need to know.

What is the process to avail of the visa validity extension?

Expats with residency visas that expired on or after March 1 will have their validity extended automatically till the end of 2020. "The residency visas of expats that expired as on March 1 will be automatically extended till the end of December 2020," Brig Al Kaabi said.

Will Emirates IDs that expired after March 1 be valid for bank and official government transactions?

Brig Al Kaabi said that in implementation of the UAE Cabinet orders, Emirates IDs that expired as on March 1 are considered valid for both Emiratis and expats. They can be used for bank and government services and other official transactions up to the end of 2020. "We will have the unified system halt the SMS alerts that are being sent to expats and Emiratis to remind them of the need to renew their Emirates IDs."

If an expat stays out of the country for more than six months, will his/her visa be cancelled?

The visa validity extension is for residents both inside and outside the country. "Visas won't be cancelled for residency visa holders who have been outside the UAE for six months or more," said Brig Al Kaabi.

What about visit visas and entry permits?

Visit visas and entry permits of foreigners that expired from March 1 will be automatically renewed till the end of December.

Will there be any overstay fines for expats?

There won't be any delay fines for expats who can't stamp their visas, get their Emirates ID processed or obtain their medical insurance due to the Covid-19 situation.

I wish to go back to my home to be with my family during this difficult period. Is there a mechanism for that?

The official spokesperson of the FAIC said the authorities are working on a mechanism that will enable expats to return to their home countries if they wish to. This will be announced in the next few days.


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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