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UAE residency holders can now apply for a re-entry permit even after 6 months of absence

Mon 30 Jan 2023    
| 2 min read

UAE: UAE residency visa holders who stay outside the country for more than 6 months may now apply for a permit to re-enter the country, as per reports.

The residents will need to specify a reason for having stayed outside the country for that long and may need to provide proof as well.

Residents can apply for the service on the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) website. The service is called ‘Issue permit for staying outside UAE over 6 months’ and can be found under ‘smart services’.

Also, read – UAE Visa and Emirates ID services will now be AED100 more expensive

The applicant can re-enter the country only after getting an approval email from the ICP. The approval process takes about 5 days.

To avail of the service, applicants must enter their details and that of their sponsors, as well as their passport and residency-related information. A mandatory field on the application seeks the reason for staying outside the country for six months or more.

The system specifies a total fee of AED150 for the service.

Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service, confirmed that the new system has been put in place. “An in-person system used to be in place earlier before Covid-19, but now it has been unified and can be done online.”

T.P. Sudheesh, general manager, Deira Travels, also confirmed having received the notification. “There is an approval process that residents need to follow. This is available on the e-channels of the ICP.”

Residency is typically cancelled automatically if its holder has been outside the country for 180 days. An exception to the rule was Golden Visa holders, who can remain abroad for as long as needed without it affecting their residency status.

The new entry permit system is the latest in a string of changes to the visa and residency system implemented recently. The fees to avail of ICP services, including those to issue visas and Emirates IDs, went up by AED100 earlier this month. Visit visas can no longer be extended within the UAE, with holders having to exit the country and come back on a fresh visa. The ICP also recently standardised the fine on overstaying visas in the country to AED50. Tourists and visit visa holders who overstay will pay AED50 a day instead of AED100, and those overstaying on a residency visa will have to pay double — AED50 a day instead of AED25.

The UAE’s largest entry and residency visa reforms went into effect in October last year. The reforms cover all aspects of residency, including an expanded Golden Visa scheme; a new five-year Green residency; a multiple-entry five-year tourist visa; and job hunting entry permits.

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