UAE visit visa: Dubai suspends extensions from within country, say travel agencies

While this was the rule earlier, the UAE had changed the requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic due to humanitarian concerns

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 5:04 PM

All options for visit visa holders to renew their visas from within the country, including for Dubai-issued permits, have now been suspended, according to travel agencies.

“There are no more options for any visitor to change the status of their visa while staying in the UAE,” said Praveen Choudhary, MD, Al Saffron Travel & Tourism LLC. “People who want to renew their visas must exit the country and then return.”


Earlier this month, new rules came into effect which discontinued the option for tourists in the UAE to extend their visit visas from within the country. For a few days, Dubai continued to allow visitors to renew their visas from within the country; however, this has now been suspended as well.

“There are several families and aged people who have approached us, hoping to extend their visas from within the country,” said Bharat Aidsani from Pluto Travels. "However, it is not possible and they must now leave the country and return after applying for a new visit visa.”


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This was the rule previously too, but the rules were changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lockdowns, when travel became difficult, the UAE changed the requirements due to humanitarian concerns. “It was always meant to be a short-term facility for when borders shut due to the pandemic,” said Afi Ahmed from Smart Travels. “Now, that all borders are open and travel is back to normal, the government has decided to revert to how things were earlier.”

Travel agencies said visitors who have secured a job in the country or are opting to go for a residency visa are also being advised to exit the country and re-enter for the status change to be effective. This has led to a massive increase in demand for flights and buses to neighbouring countries, they added. From the UAE, people travel to Bahrain, Kuwait and Muscat for visa status changes.

“My advice to people is to check with travel agencies before booking tickets and making plans,” said Bharat. “The situation is dynamic. Also, as it is the time when the UAE is dealing with NYE rush, there are some restrictions in place as well. It is always advisable for visitors to return to their home countries and come back on a fresh visit visa.”

He also cautioned people to ensure that they exit the country on time. "We always warn people not to overstay their visas," he said. "It is best to exit the country and return so that they don't get any fines or are not penalised in any way."

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