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New regulations for UAE residence and visitor visas

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced that it will start implementing select decisions of the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding residence permits and visitor visas. It is expected that on 21 October 2018 the following regulations will come into effect:

Residence permits for widowed or divorced women

A one-year residence permit will be available to women and their children residing in the UAE without a sponsor due to a divorce or death of their husband, under the following conditions:

·        The principal applicant must have a financial ability to support her dependents;
·        All applicants above 18 must be medically fit (a medical examination is required);
·        Residence permits sponsored by a deceased or former husband must be valid at the time of death or divorce; and
·        A death or divorce certificate must be provided along with copies of current residence permits, Emirates ID Cards and proof of medical insurance (where applicable).

Current residence permits will be canceled, triggering additional government fees; and the validity of the new visa will start from the date of divorce or husband’s death.

Read: New UAE visa regulations bring shift in how expats live and work

Residence permits for students under parents’ sponsorship

A one-year renewable residence permit will be available to university and high school graduates sponsored by their parents, after having completed their education or on reaching the age of 18, under the following conditions:

·        A visa sponsor will be exempt from providing a financial guarantee for the dependent; and
·        Graduation certificates accompanying the visa application can be from an educational institution inside the UAE or from overseas.

The validity of the visa will start from the date of graduation or from the day the applicant reached 18 years old.

Video: UAE sends strong message with 10-year visas to halt exodus

In-country visit visa renewal

Foreign nationals traveling on select categories of pre-approved visit visas will be eligible to renew their entry permits in-country, without having to exit and re-enter the UAE, under the following conditions:

·        Visit visa can be renewed twice for up to 30 days each time, regardless of the validity of the initial visa;
·        The government will charge AED 600 ($163.5) per visa renewal;
·        Failure to renew the visa within ten days from its expiry date will trigger a delay fine of AED 100 ($27.24) per day;
·        A renewed visa will be valid from the expiry date of the previous visa; and
·        Second renewal should be initiated before the expiry date of the first extension.

According to the announcement, certain visa categories, including visit visas for GCC residents and their dependents as well as special entry visas, will not be subject to the new regulation.

Read: Long-term visas to boost investment in UAE or not?

How Fragomen can assist? 

Fragomen will continue monitoring the situation and will revert with additional information as developments occur.