Starting 12th July 2020, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will resume residency visa and ID renewal services. The UAE Cabinet has declared that all services would be provided online to limit crowds at the visa centres.
According to a national news agency, the renewal process for expatriates and citizens in the UAE will be carried out in phases as below:
Visas that have expired in March and April: The renewal process will start from July 12th, 2020.
Visas that expired in May: The renewal process will begin from August 8th, 2020.
Visas that expired in June and between July 1st – 11th: The renewal process will begin from September 10th, 2020.
This comes after the UAE Cabinet revised residency visa rules, by announcing a three-month grace period for residents to set their documents in order.
The earlier decision to extend visa and identity card validity that expired on March 1, until the end of December now stands cancelled – as per a government resolution that comes into effect from Saturday, 11th July 2020. Authorities said that these changes to amend the first resolutions have come about, as normalcy returns to the Emirates and economic activities resume.
In the month of June, immigration officials had declared a short-term amnesty for people, who were in the country without a visa since before March 1st and confirmed that this will run until August 18th, 2020. It targeted people who were in the country before March 1 without a valid visa – such as workers with expired permits, jobseekers on expired visit visas, and people working without any documents. It did not extend to people who have lost their job since March 1, who must pay AED 200 as a one-off fee, followed by a fine of AED 25 per day.
The UAE Cabinet has announced a three-month grace period until October for GCC passport holders and UAE residents, to renew their visa and residency documents.
Following this announcement, The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (or ICA) received instructions from the UAE Cabinet to resume charging administrative fees for visa and residency services from Sunday, 12th July, 2020.
The Cabinet has granted a one-month grace period to renew visas from the date of arrival to the UAE for GCC passport holders and UAE residents who have spent less than six months out of the country. This also applies for Emirati citizens.
UAE residents who have been out of the country longer than six months, or whose visas expired after March 1st, have been granted a grace period – which will be determined by the ICA – to return to the Emirates from the date flights resume between the UAE, and the country that they are currently in. Administrative fees cannot be charged during that grace period, but will begin immediately after, as per the Cabinet decision.
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