This legal article discusses the recent removal of the grace period for visit visas issued in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of May 15, the UAE government has abolished the 10-day grace period that previously applied to visit visas issued in Dubai. Consequently, visitors and tourists are no longer allowed any additional time beyond the visa’s expiration date to exit the country. This article analyzes the legal implications of the new directive and the imposition of fines for overstaying the visa duration.
The United Arab Emirates has been a popular destination for tourists and visitors from around the world. To facilitate travel, visit visas were previously accompanied by a grace period, allowing individuals to stay in the country for a limited period even after the visa’s expiration. However, recent developments have led to the elimination of this grace period for visit visas issued in Dubai, and this article aims to explore the legal implications of this change.
Removal of Grace Period for Visit Visas
As of May 15, the UAE authorities, including Dubai, have ceased providing a grace period for visit visas. Travel agents have been informed of this new directive and have been advising their clients accordingly. Visitors are now required to strictly adhere to the duration specified in their visa, which is typically either 30 days or 60 days from the date of entry.
What happens if you overstay your tourist visa in UAE?
Previously, the grace period provided some flexibility for visit visa holders, granting them a few extra days to arrange their departure from the country. With the removal of this grace period, visitors and tourists must now exit the UAE before their visa expires. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in overstay fines being levied upon them.
The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security has implemented uniform fines for overstaying in the country. The recently introduced rules, as part of comprehensive visa reforms announced last month, have resulted in a reduction and standardization of overstaying fees to Dh50. Moreover, individuals who overstay on a residency visa will now be subject to double fines for each day, amounting to Dh50 per day instead of the previous Dh25.
How to Pay Overstay fines for Visit Visa in Dubai?
Overstay fines can be conveniently settled through two options: by visiting customer happiness centers in person or by using the authority’s website and smart application for online payment.
It’s essential to note that any additional days spent on the process of requesting documents or updating information will be considered part of the overstay period. Moreover, applicants must exercise caution during the visa renewal process. If an application is initiated but the correct documents are not uploaded within 30 days or if the wrong documents are uploaded more than three times, the application will be automatically canceled. In such cases, a new application must be filed to proceed with the visa renewal.
Can Tourists on Visit Visa’s extend their stay from within the country?
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced significant reforms to its visa procedures, providing tourists on 30 or 60-day visit visas with the option to extend their stay within the country for an additional 30 days. This move by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) aims to offer visitors more time to experience the diverse offerings of the UAE. This legal article delves into the details of the recent decision, the extension process, documentation requirements, time duration, fees, and the various purposes the extension serves.
Recent Changes in UAE Visit Visa Procedures
Since October of the previous year, the UAE has witnessed substantial changes in its visa regulations, representing one of the largest reforms in residency and entry permits overseen by the Immigration and Citizenship Program (ICP). Consequently, the visit visa system has also undergone notable developments, giving tourists greater flexibility in extending their stay.
Extension Option and Maximum Duration
As per information available on the ICA website, individuals holding a 30 or 60-day visit visa can now apply for an extension of up to 30 days, subject to a maximum cumulative duration of 120 days within a year. A representative from the Amer Centre’s call center confirmed that multiple extensions can be sought, each lasting up to 30 days.
Initiating the UAE Visit Visa Extension Process
To avail the visa extension, tourists or visitors are advised to get in touch with their travel agent or sponsor. The operation manager at Arabian Business Centre, Firose Khan, emphasized the importance of contacting the visa issuing agent well in advance of the current visa’s expiration to ensure a smooth extension process. The agent or sponsor will provide guidance on the necessary documentation, fees, and other relevant information.
Required Documentation for UAE Visit Visa Extension
To apply for a visit visa extension, tourists need to present their passport. Specific details regarding the required documents will be provided by the issuing agent.
Time Duration for UAE Visit Visa Extension and Fees
The duration of the extension process may take a few days, depending on the travel agent handling the application. However, the ICP website mentions that the service can be completed within 48 hours after all requirements are fulfilled. The cost of extending the visa for one month amounts to Dh1,050, as explained by Khan.
Detailed Visa Extension Charges
The GDRFA has laid out the extension charges on their website, which include:
- Visa Extension Fee: Dh600 + 5% Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Knowledge Dirham: Dh10
- Innovation Dirham: Dh10
- Fee Inside the Country: Dh500
It’s essential to note that the total visa amount may vary depending on the sponsored person’s circumstances or other relevant factors.
Application Process and Recommendations
The application for an extension of the entry permit for tourism is made through tourism companies. Agents strongly advise visitors to leave the country before their visa expires or extend their visas to avoid penalties or difficulties during the exit process.
The extension caters to various purposes, including tourism, family visits, business meetings, and other personal matters. With this extra time, visitors can explore the UAE’s iconic landmarks, indulge in shopping, enjoy culinary delights, and experience the world-class hospitality offered by the country.
Legal Consequences of Overstaying Visit Visas
Any individual found to be overstaying their visit visa in the UAE will be subject to fines as soon as the visa expires. These fines are calculated based on the number of days the individual has overstayed, and the amounts may vary depending on the visa type and the duration of the overstay.
Compliance and Enforcement
The UAE authorities take visa regulations seriously and have strict measures in place to enforce compliance. Border control officials and immigration authorities are vigilant in monitoring visa expirations and identifying individuals who have overstayed their allowed duration. Once an individual is found to be in violation, the overstay fines will be imposed immediately, and further legal actions may be taken, including deportation and entry bans for future visits.
Clarifications on Applicability
It is important to note that the elimination of the grace period applies specifically to visit visas issued in Dubai. As mentioned earlier, other emirates had already removed the grace period, making Dubai the final emirate to implement this change. Therefore, all visitors and tourists entering the UAE through Dubai must be aware of this modification to the visa regulations.
Recommendation and Conclusion
In light of this new directive, it is crucial for all visitors and tourists planning to enter the UAE to be fully informed about the specific terms and conditions of their visit visas. Travel agents and other relevant parties must ensure that their clients are aware of the elimination of the grace period and the potential consequences of overstaying their visas. Furthermore, visitors should exercise diligence and compliance with the visa regulations to avoid any legal complications or financial penalties.
The UAE’s decision to eliminate the grace period for visit visas issued in Dubai signifies a shift towards stricter enforcement of visa regulations. Visitors and tourists are now required to adhere strictly to the visa duration specified upon entry, and any overstay beyond the visa expiration date will result in fines being imposed. Understanding these legal implications is crucial for ensuring a smooth and compliant travel experience in the UAE.