UAE: Renewing visit visa? Airport-to-airport rates now up by nearly 20%

Visitors can get the visa change either on the same day or they can spend a night in the neighbouring country and return the following day.

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SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sun 14 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 14 Jan 2024, 11:01 PM

Visitors who wish to extend their visas by utilising the airport-to-airport status change service will have to pay up to 20 per cent extra as compared to earlier fares, travel industry experts revealed to Khaleej Times.

“The airline by which visitors fly out and return has increased the airfare by nearly Dh125. Another factor for the increase in the package is because of massive demand among visitors to stay in the country during the colder months,” said Shihab Parwad, managing director of Rehan Al Jazeera Tourism.

What is an A2A visa change?

The airport-to-airport visa change allows visitors to quickly get a new tourist visa by visiting the nearest country rather than flying back to the applicant’s home country.

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Visitors can get the visa change either on the same day or they can spend a night in the neighbouring country and return the following day. The same-day process typically requires approximately four hours, involving flying out, waiting in the airport of the neighbouring country, and returning on a later flight.

Current price starts at Dh1,500

According to tourism companies, the 90-day visa was cancelled by authorities during the last quarter of 2023. This drove up the demand for 60-day visas among visitors. “The price of a 60-day visa used to start at Dh1,300. Now the price starts at Dh1,500,” said Libin Varghese, head of operations and sales at Rooh Travel and Tourism LLC.

The price depends on when visitors book the package. It works out cheaper if booked a month in advance, added Varghese.

In December 2022, UAE discontinued the option for visit visa holders to extend their stay permits from within the country. Visit visa holders had to exit the country before they could return on a new visa. It was always compulsory for visit visa holders to exit the country and enter on a new visa, but the rules were changed during the Covid-19 lockdown. During the pandemic, when travel became difficult, the UAE changed the requirements on humanitarian grounds.

Industry experts highlighted that the price for a 30-day visa change by air has also increased from Dh1,200 to Dh1,300 (starting rates).

“The demand for extending the 60-day visa is really high. Our quota is sold out on most of the days and we are finding it difficult to get seats," said Parwad

Massive demand

Experts mentioned that most of the longer-duration visas are preferred by senior citizens who are not willing to travel regularly. “Because of the pleasant weather which we are experiencing, many residents are calling their parents and relatives for extended periods to stay in the country. This has added to the massive demand in airport-to-airport visa change,” said Varghese.

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