In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, several countries have been upending a lot of rules and regulations which once seemed irrevocable. In a landmark decision, the UAE has announced extending the validity of all its visas, including visit and tourist visas, residency visas, Emirates ID, and entry permits.
The UAE authorities have announced that residency visas and entry permits including visit and tourist visas held by people currently staying inside the UAE, which have expired after March 1 will remain valid until the end of 2020. In other words, the validity of the visas of people who are presently inside the UAE will be extended till the end of December 2020 if their visas have expired after March 1.
UAE extends visa validity
This was confirmed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) which tweeted that residency visas inside and outside the country and entry permits, including visit, tourist, or any other sort of visa, for those inside the country will be valid until the end of December 2020, provided the visas have expired after March 1 this year.
The tweet also confirms that holders of residency visas who are still outside the country and whose visas have expired after March 1, will be considered valid until December 31, 2020. Also, Emirates ID cards expiring in March 1 will be valid until the end of December 2020.
Decision taken in view of coronavirus
The UAE's Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) told the local media on Monday, April 13 that entry permits of those inside the country will be valid until the end of December 2020, if they have expired after March 1, 2020.
The announcement was made during the UAE government's 14th daily press briefing regarding the latest situation regarding coronavirus.
The decision was announced by Brigadier Khamis Al Kaabi, official spokesperson for the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), on social media channels as well.
Brigadier Khamis Al-Kaabi tweeted: "We assure our clients of the necessity of completing their transactions through the smart services platform of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, and we are committed to the highest levels of quality in providing these services. @ICAUAE."
Requests from expats and visitors for repatriation
He said the decisions were taken in order to lower the impact of the precautionary measures taken by the UAE government to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the Emirates.
Brig Al Kaabi added that they had received many requests from expatriate residents and visitors to return to their homeland due to the current circumstances and that they were working on the requests.
"We are working to coordinate these requests. The ICA affirms its absolute commitment to all segments of society, including citizens, residents, and visitors," he said.
"We also confirm our willingness to receive and attend to all inquiries through the communication channels announced on the official website of the authority."
The ICA has urged all community members, citizens, expat residents and visitors, who have any queries to contact the authority through the announced communication channels on its official website.
Likewise, people can also call the GDRFA-Dubai's Amer call centre for queries round the clock on 8005111 (for people inside the UAE) or +97143139999 (from outside the country). People can also send their queries via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or Gdrfa@dnrd.ae