The United Arab Emirates imposes new sanctions for exceeding the duration of residence or visa

To travel to the UAE, a visitor can apply for either a 30-day visa or a 90-day visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the UAE. There is a list of countries that are eligible for visa-free entry or to receive a visa on arrival or an eVisa or entry permit pre-arranged by a UAE-based sponsor.  Visitors should check this list before travelling to the UAE.

There are different types of residence visas in the UAE

  • Resident visa for working in the UAE
  • Resident visa for working outside the UAE
  • Resident visa for retirees
  • Resident visa for doing business in the UAE
  • Resident visa for studying in the UAE
  • Resident visa for family members.

The validity of these residence visas varies depending on the type and sponsor. It can range from one year to ten years.

The benefits of a UAE resident visa include: Access to government health services and medical insurance, education in government or public schools, the ability to work and invest in the UAE and visa-free travel to 174 countries around the world.

New residence rules

On 3 October 2022, the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security introduced new rules and procedures for the New Visa Scheme to coincide with the official launch of the system. These new rules and procedures include the standardisation of fines for visitors who overstay their stay in the country. 

Tourists and visitor visa holders who overstay will be charged 50 dirhams or $14 per day instead of 100 dirhams. Residence visa holders who overstay their visas will have to pay 50 dirhams or $14 per day of stay, up from 25 dirhams per day.

Foreigners who do not renew their residency visa on time have a 30-day grace period to cancel and change their visa category or leave the UAE. Fortunately, the UAE authorities have announced that they will extend the 30-day grace period to six months.  However, the authorities have not yet set an implementation date.

This update on visa overstay penalties is in coordination with recent sweeping immigration changes announced in early October. Government portals have not yet been updated, but foreign nationals should be aware of the new visa overstay fines.