UAE visa: Can Dubai residents apply for re-entry permit if they stay overseas for over 6 months?

Expats of all emirates, except Dubai, can apply for the service on the ICP website


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 30 May 2023, 11:36 AM

Last updated: Tue 30 May 2023, 10:03 PM

Hundreds of UAE residents whose visas got cancelled after staying outside the country for more than six months could return to the Emirates, thanks to a service launched earlier this year. In January, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) introduced a re-entry permit for such residents.

Previously, residents had to apply for a visit visa to return to the country if they stayed outside the UAE for over six months.

Residents of all emirates, except Dubai, can apply for the service on the ICP website. However, the process is slightly different for those who hold Dubai-issued visas.

“It is a very straightforward process,” said Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service. “We can do the process on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website of Dubai (GDRFA) and select the necessary option. They must provide a letter stating why they stayed outside the country.”

The application must go through an agent, and residents cannot apply for it on their own on the website. According to an agent at the GDRFA call centre, the sponsor can apply for the permit at any Amer Centre.

Residents of all other emirates can find the service on the ICP website. They have to select ‘Issue permit for staying outside UAE over 6 months’ under ‘smart services’. They will have to specify the reason for having stayed outside the country for that long and may need to furnish proof for the same.

Here are the requirements, according to the ICP:

  • The application must be submitted from outside the country.
  • The customer can apply for the permit after 180 days of staying outside the country.
  • When the application is approved, the applicant must enter the country within 30 days.
  • A valid reason must be provided to justify being outside the country for more than 180 days.
  • A fine of Dh100 will be charged for every 30 days or less spent outside the country.

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