The United Arab Emirates authorities are continuing to take the necessary steps to reduce the wide spread of Corona Virus. In order to maintain the healthy wellbeing of the UAE’s population, there remains a temporary suspension on the issuance of all types of visas. Current UAE visitors, non-UAE residents, holders of residency visas that are expiring and those at different stages of residency visa processing are questioning what happens next. The Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of the Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai revealed
“All people holding any kind of UAE visas or residency will be exempted from any fines for a renewable period of three months. Holders of UAE residency but are out of the country are part of the decision issued by our wise leadership.”
Creation Business Consultants investigates below the impact of the recently implemented measures the authorities have implemented on UAE visitors, residents and businesses.
The UAE is still holding off on the issuance of all visas to people who do not hold a residency visa. The only exceptions are diplomatic passport holders where new UAE visas are being processed and issued. The temporary suspension applies to all tourists, visit, investor, employment and mission visas.
The temporary suspension will not affect holders of valid residence visas that are currently in the UAE. Such persons that fall into this category are able to renew their UAE residency visa without any present problems now or further down the line. The authorities are working to accommodate expiring UAE residency visas. From March 1, 2020 onwards any persons that has a UAE residency that is expiring will be able to extend their UAE residency visa for a further 3 month grace period and they will not incur any additional fees or fines.
Furthermore, UAE residency visas holders that are not able to arrive in the UAE before the grace period, will still be able to get their visas renewed without extra fees, according to UAE Cabinet decision.
Since there are travel restrictions and bans in place there are currently many non-residents still in the country. The authorities have been understanding in this instance and have accommodated to such persons within this category. For non-UAE residents that have visited and entered the UAE with a “visa on arrival” or a “visit visa”, they are now able to legally renew their visit visas without the requirement of exiting the UAE (which is normally the case). It is important to highlight that any renewals of existing visit visas can only be affected under the same sponsor.
For those individuals where their UAE visa will be expiring, and they are not able to renew will not incur or be subject to the normal daily fines for non-visa renewal whilst being in the UAE. The country recognises and understands the restrictions on flights, cancelation of flights, no availability of certain flight routes and the closure of airports that are affecting travel. Nevertheless, we are recommending that such individuals in this situation to keep up to date on any progress reports, follow up on communication with authorities and to follow reliable media sources to avoid any potential breaches on the applicable laws.
During this time employees already in the UAE will still be able to change over to new jobs. Employees will be able to shift from one sponsor to another sponsor in accordance to the same rules that applied before the temporary visa suspension came into play.
As part of a series of precautionary and preventive measures to limit the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak, families will be no longer able to hire childcare services such as nannies, domestic helpers and drivers etc from outside of the UAE that are abroad. On the other hand, UAE residents can still hire individuals that are currently in the UAE and looking for work. Residents can also apply for the applicable change of status for their new hires. Whereas, individuals that are wanting to sponsor any family members that are currently outside of the UAE will have to wait until the temporary visa restrictions are removed by the official authorities.
Regarding business that are in the process of recruitment of individuals from abroad, such employers must take into account the current circumstances before they proceed with issuing offer letters. We urge any employer in this position to seek HR and legal advice prior to taking any decisions involving offer letters that have already been issued to potential new employees.
From March 19, 2020, the UAE has imposed an entry ban to the country. This includes holders of valid UAE residency visas.
Holder of UAE residency visas who are not able to return to the UAE are guided to contact the UAE consulates in the respective host country to help and assist with the safe return home to the UAE.
During this time there are many changes occurring. Maj-Gen Al Merri has urged holders of UAE visas to call Amer call centre on 8005111 for any visa-related inquires. Amer call centres are working around the clock to assist with inquires in multiple languages.
Creation Business Consultants top priority is to continue to provide the highest quality of services and ensuring the well-being and health of our clients, business associates and their families. We remain in contact with the relevant authorities and will update you as and when the situation changes. We are committed to assisting you every step of the way. Please feel free to reach out to Creation team should you have any concerns.
Phone: +971 48786240
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Creation ensures clients receive a seamless, cost effective and proficient entry to the GCC market. We provide clients with the foundations and best practices empowering them to build and control a successful business.
We continuously strive to exceed client’s expectations whilst making certain they are protected from undue risk at all times. Creation Business Consultants is the preferred and truly trusted business partners for the GCC.