As there is tremendous uncertainty on when the “normal life” will resume i.e. when will the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) end, the UAE government has been working continuously to support its residents and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic a few months back. As has happened with other recent global health emergencies, governments in many jurisdictions have implemented a range of temporary immigration-related measures in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, the UAE continued its protective measures by implementing travel restrictions, however, it provided some relief for its residents as follows:
- Extension of UAE residence visas until 31 December 2020, applicable on visas expired from 1 March 2020. This extension applies to residents both inside and outside the country.
- Extension of visitor visas until 31 December 2020, applicable to visitors inside the UAE with visas expired from 1 March 2020 onwards.
- Extension of UAE Nationals’ Identification Cards until 31 December 2020, applicable to ID Cards expired from 1 March 2020. This extension applies to nationals both inside and outside the country;
- Extension of government services expiring on 1 March 2020 onwards, for a renewable period of three months starting from 1 April 2020. This applies to all federal government services, including documents, permits, licenses and commercial registers.
- Although the new governmental updates did not explicitly mention canceled visas, we expect canceled visa holders to be given a grace period, without incurring any penalties for overstaying. This would be in line with the overall policy and approach implemented by the UAE government during the COVID-19.
For any questions or queries, please feel free to contact us.
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