Dubai: An overnight report on visa and travel restrictions in the United Arab Emirates to curb the spread of the corona virus raises several questions as residents and visitors at home and abroad look for, and claim, more details about these guidelines have major consequences for them.
On Wednesday night the UAE suspended the entry of all current visa holders who are currently abroad for a two-week extension starting Thursday (March 19) at 12 noon. Earlier in the day, Federal Citizenship and Identity Authority suspended all visas when they arrived on Thursday at 1am. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced a temporary ban on citizens entering abroad from Wednesday until further notice.
Since the news was released, hundreds of readers have turned to Gulf News for details. There is a lot of concern: an expatriate father who is currently abroad wants to know whether his residence visa will be canceled because he will be 180 days abroad on March 26. The mother of a tourist visa that expires on April 9 wonders if she can extend the visa because she does not want to return to Pakistan in its current state. a group of students on a visa previously approved at Dubai International who want a resolution to ban entry; an American passenger who made an eight-hour landing at Dubai airport on his way to Afghanistan and asked if he would be quarantined for two weeks; an adult couple from New York asking if they should just quarantine; etc.
Gulf News contacted the relevant authorities to answer these questions. Because the situation is still developing, not all questions can be answered immediately. Below is a list of the most common questions readers have with answers: I am a visitor / tourist in the UAE and can I extend my visa? UAE visitors can extend their stay in the country by applying for a new visit or tourist visa at any travel agent, an official source told Gulf News on Thursday. Because of the proliferation of COVID-19, tourists and visitors to the country can extend their stay by applying for a new visa while they stay here.
Tourists and visitors can leave the country when their visas expire or change status by getting a new visa through a travel company, the source said. Visitors can encourage sponsors as family members to apply for a new visa while still in the country.
What happens if I stay without extending my visa? People who live in the country without changing their status after their visa is fined. The calculator is too long for tourists or visitors: Dh200 for the first day Dh100 for each subsequent day plus a one-time Dh100 processing fee. Can I now extend my residence permit? UAE residents can extend their residence permit while still in the country, an official told Gulf News. Residents who move their homes to other sponsors in the country can continue to do so. If someone has canceled their stay and cannot leave the country due to the spread of COVID-19, they can change their status by applying for a visa to be visited through a travel agent, the official said. I have a residence visa and am abroad and cannot fly. My stay abroad has passed 180 days? What will happen to my residence? Meanwhile, people who legally live in the UAE but are out of the country for more than 180 days will stay if they do not arrive in the UAE before the grace period ends. However, it is recommended that these people contact the competent authority after two weeks for updates or new instructions.
Is home quarantine mandatory when I return from abroad? The Attorney General of the United Arab Emirates, Hamad Al Shamsi, said that anyone who comes to the United Arab Emirates must undergo a quarantine period of 14 days. What if I don't have quarantine? Anyone who leaves his place of residence during quarantine will be punished by law. Penalties include imprisonment, fines, or both.
What should I do if I stop living and cannot travel to my home country? You can change your status by going to a travel agent and applying for a visitor visa. Who can I contact to resolve my visa issue? Contact the DDRFA Amer call center 8005111. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has created a hotline at any time to support the holders of legal residence permits abroad. Contact: 0097124965228 or 0097192083344.