UAE tourist visa extension: Some travellers can stay till Jan 26

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli/Dubai
Filed on January 6, 2021 | Last updated on January 6, 2021 at 11.44 pm
(AFP file photo used for illustrative purpose)

Tourists say their visa validity has been extended automatically.

Tourists in the UAE whose visas expired between December 19 and January 15 can stay in the country until January 26, according to information shared by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) call centre (Amer).

Some tourists confirmed to Khaleej Times that their visas have been automatically extended.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had on December 27 announced a free one-month visa extension to all tourists. It came when several countries, especially in Europe, imposed lockdowns and restrictions on movement and air travel over a new, more infectious Covid-19 strain.

Tourists in the UAE have availed of the extension to spend more time in the country.

“I’d arrived here with my daughter on December 3 to spend the New Year’s Eve with my husband, who works here. Our visa was valid until January 3. However, after the announcement by the UAE government, my travel agent called to inform that our visa is now valid until the end of January,” said Vani Agarwal.

She has rescheduled her plans to return to Canada and is excited to spend the next three weeks exploring Dubai and other emirates.

ALSO READ: UAE visa extension: We are ready, says GDRFA

Nafisa Khatundiwala, a new mum, shared her excitement, too.

“It was such a good surprise on New Year’s Eve. My mother had arrived in October to see her newborn grandson and spend some time with us. She was scheduled to fly out on January 8, but on learning about the visa extension, we had called the Indian Embassy to check.

“They guided us to the GDRFA website and we were able to confirm the extension given to her. She is now flying out on January 26. I am so happy we can spend some more days with her. It has been a good start to this year,” she said.

Visitors to the UAE whose visa expired after December 19 can visit to check their status online or visit any of the Amer centres for assistance.

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