With the downward trend in coronavirus cases in the UAE, an increasing number of daily recoveries and opening up of businesses and international borders, the country is gradually returning to normality. While social distancing and other safety measures remain firmly in place, other rules and decisions taken by various government entities during the lockdown period are currently being reviewed and revised in line with the changing situation.
In recent developments, the UAE Cabinet has cancelled its previous decision on visa validity and entry permits. Earlier, the UAE Cabinet had extended the validity of resident visas and Emirates IDs, which expired after 1st March 2020, to the end of the year, i.e., December 2020.
However, from 12th July onwards, new rules will be implemented and the Federal Authority of Citizenship and Identification (ICA) will be charging its regular fees for all activated services.
Emiratis, GCC nationals and UAE residents, who have been outside the country for less than six months, will have a one-month grace period to renew their documents from the date of their entry in the UAE. Meanwhile, Emiratis, GCC nationals and UAE residents who are inside the country, will get a grace period of up to three months.
UAE residents, who have been outside the country for more than six months, will need to return to the UAE once air travel resumes on their route.
The grace period given for returning to the UAE will depend on the opening up of airspaces and will be determined by the ICA. Those who do not comply with the new rules, after the period of exemption, will have to pay the relevant fines or administrative fees.
Following these amendments, UAE residents are rethinking their travel plans and awaiting more updates from the authority. Related details can be found on the ICA’s website: ica.gov.ae