After the UAE government has announced this weekend that it will no longer follow through the planned visa extension program to help UAE residents better cope with the challenges caused by the global health crisis, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) also made a separate announcement that it will receive applications for renewing expired residency visas and Emirates ID cards in phases.
The proposed renewal scheme will facilitate the organized processing of applications and ensure that all applicants are received in limited numbers to observe physical distancing rules.
Also Read: 5 Steps: How to Check UAE Visa Status Online
What to Do if Your UAE Visa Expired in March or April
According to the authority, starting Sunday, July 12, applications for renewing documents that expired in March and April will be received.
Accordingly, resident documents that expired in May will be received starting August 8, while those that expired in June and on July 1-11 will be processed from September 10.
The decision was based on the need to maintain strict physical distancing at ICA, a crucial measure against the spread of Covid-19.
The UAE Cabinet on Friday, June 10, announced a decision to cancel all recently issued resolutions on the automatic extension of validity of residency and visit visas.
In line with this, residents in the country were given a three-month grace period to complete their renewal procedures.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the changes and the fines that apply:
Q: How much time to I have to renew my expired identity documents?
Those in the country will have a maximum of three months to renew their documents.
Meanwhile, residents and GCC citizens who spent less than six months outside the country will also be given one month for renewal, with the grace period starting from the date of their arrival in the UAE.
Q: What about those whose visas have already expired while they are outside the country and cannot go return to the UAE because flights are not yet available?
In such cases, visas that expired in March or those who have spent more than six months abroad shall be given a window to return to the UAE from the date of reopening of airspace between the two countries. This will be according to a time frame determined by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
Q: Will fines now apply?
Yes. With the cancellation of the previous resolution that suspended penalties on violations related to residency. The authority has clarified that no fines for the exemption period will be collected.
Q: When is the deadline for fines and fees that have to be settled?
As per the UAE Cabinet, the ICA will start collecting fees from July 12, 2020.
Q: How do I renew my documents?
Services will be offered through electronic systems to limit crowding at customer centers. In line with this, service departments in the country should consider and accept renewed electronic identity cards in the smart application of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.