Coronavirus: UAE adjusts expiry extensions, fine collection rules for visas, ID cards

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The UAE Cabinet announced that the coronavirus-related decisions with regards to residency, visas, entry permits, and ID cards will no longer be in effect starting from July 11, the government communication office said on Friday.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said the decision was “in line with the return to normalcy in various fields and sectors and to support continuity of business activity."

The Cabinet's new decision overrides the previous announcements which extended the validity of residency visas, entry and residency permits, and ID cards expired after March 1 until December 31.

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The new adjustments are as follows:

The ICA will start collecting fees due for its services as of July 12.

Grant UAE nationals, GCC citizens, and UAE residents who spent less than six months abroad, a one month time period to renew their documents.

Grant UAE nationals and GCC citizens residing inside the country a three month time period to renew their documents.

Grant residents who are outside the country, those whose residency visas expired after March 1, and those who stayed outside the UAE for more than a six month period, a “specific” time period to return to the country effective from the date of opening airspace between the two countries.

The ICA will collect all administrative fees or applicable fines after the aforementioned deadlines pass.

The COVID-19 global pandemic had left many people stuck abroad amid travel restrictions and unable to get back to their home country or their country of residence. And thousands of expats lost their jobs, and with that their residency visas due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

The UAE had announced in mid-April that it will give residents whose visas expired in early March 2020 an extension of their visa until end of December 2020, as part of the country’s measures to support the public to mitigate the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. The country had also suspended in mid-March issuing all entry visas.

In mid-May, the UAE waived fines for visa violators and those with entry or residency permits which expired before March 1.

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