The grace period to exit the UAE after a residency visa cancellation has been increased to between 60 and 180 days in most cases. The grace period, which was 30 days previously, depends on the category of the visa.
Expatriates need to either exit the country or get a new visa within the grace period after the visa is cancelled.
Typing centre agents and customer care agents at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) have confirmed the increased period is now in effect. The flexible period was announced as the country adopted sweeping reforms to its entry and residency visa scheme last month.
A typing centre agent confirmed that a client of his had the longer grace period applied after visa cancellation.
“The new visa grace period was applied on a visa that we cancelled recently,” said Aliyyu Shahul Hameed from Pan Gulf document clearing services. “A skilled professional got a grace period of 180 days to exit the country.”
According to information shared by typing centre agents, the period varies according to the visa type. As per details they can access on the ICP system, here is the break-up:
Even though some skilled workers will get a 180-day grace period, their dependents have just 60, according to an ICP customer care agent.
Hameed said the flexible period that goes up to six months will be helpful to a lot of people. “Even if they lose a job, the grace period allows them enough time to get back on their feet and look for another", he noted.
However, it is not clear whether this will be applicable for people whose visas have already expired. “If someone has overstayed their visa, then it is unlikely that they will get the grace period when it is cancelled,” said Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service. “We are still awaiting some clarification regarding this.”
The Advanced Visa System comprises many residency types, including the Green Visa – which allows an individual to sponsor their family for five years, as opposed to the existing system of two years. It is applicable to various individuals including skilled workers, self-employed people and freelancers.
There have also been a number of changes in visit visa permits. New visas will allow a stay of 60 days as opposed to 30 days earlier. Additionally, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa has been introduced, which does not require a sponsor.
Since the new reforms came into effect, it has also been revealed that the validity of freehold visas has been reduced to two years, as opposed to the earlier validity of three years. This is also applicable to people who apply for a visa as a partner of a mainland company and their dependents.
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