The UAE is an exemplary multicultural country. While the UAE welcomes tourists, businessmen and professionals from across the world, there is also a well-regulated residency visa system to ensure that all the residents are legally allowed to reside in the country. For example, overstay fines in the UAE are enforced by immigration officers in all cases to ensure the people in the country are legally allowed to be there.
The government of the UAE has taken many steps to ensure that governmental machinery is more agile and swift in dealing with people’s needs. For example, the formation of Amer Centres in Dubai has made it easier for residents to get clarity about their visa and overstay-status.
Residents who have relocated to the UAE must follow a certain set of rules for expats in Dubai to ensure legal compliance. At the end of the day, these rules are for the benefit of the public and to ensure high levels of safety and security. The overstay fines in Dubai and the rest of the UAE have also been set up to facilitate this goal.
UPDATE: OVERSTAY FINES DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Because of the ongoing worldwide travel restrictions to curb COVID-19, the UAE government has announced some relaxation in the overstay policies. We have listed some of the most commonly asked questions and tried to answer any queries that you may have.
Update August 2020: The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizen announced an extension to the deadline for expired visa and entry permit holders from 11th August 2020, for a month. This would enable them to leave the country without having to pay any overstaying fines.
MY VISA HAS EXPIRED AND THERE ARE NO INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, WOULD I HAVE TO PAY OVERSTAY FINES TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY?
The UAE government announced an amnesty scheme for all overstayers, which means all overstay fines have been waived off. If your visa expired before 1st March 2020, you can exit UAE before 18th of August 2020 without paying any fines.
Similarly, if your visa expired after 1st March 2020, you are allowed to stay in the UAE until 31st December 2020 and there will be no overstay penalties. Visit, tourist and residence visa holders are eligible for this program.
Since international flights were suspended and embassies were closed, many residents who wanted to return to their home countries were stranded in the UAE. Hence, this amnesty comes as a blessing and gives complete clarity on the issue.
If you require further assistance regarding cancelled visas and visa expiry queries, call the Amer call centre at 800-5111.
WILL AUTHORITIES IMPOSE A UAE TRAVEL BAN ON INDIVIDUALS WHO OVERSTAYED DURING THIS PERIOD?
Given the special circumstances, offenders will not face any ban from returning to the UAE at a later date.
HOW CAN I APPLY TO SIGN UP FOR THE AMNESTY PROGRAM?
You can take advantage of the program if you have a valid passport and a confirmed travel ticket. There are no special amnesty centres; rather, you would have to head straight to the airport.
If you are planning to travel from Dubai International Airport, you would need to visit the immigration department at the terminals at least 48 hours before your flight. Whereas if your flight is from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, you need to reach immigration counters at least six hours in advance. Immigration officials will lead you through the process.
SHOULD MY DEPENDENTS TRAVEL WITH ME?
Yes, all amnesty seekers have to ensure that dependents travel together at the same time. People of determination and children under 15 years are exempted from undergoing the amnesty process at the airport.
CAN I LOOK FOR A NEW JOB DURING THIS PERIOD?
Yes. If you find an employer who is willing to sponsor you before the amnesty period ends, a residency visa will be issued provided that you meet all the requirements.
WE HAD A BABY DURING THIS PERIOD. WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?
As per law, parents have 120 days to apply for a visa for their children. If you want to stay in the UAE, you will have to opt for this route. This simply means you have to apply for a passport and subsequently a dependent visa. Alternatively, if you plan to leave the UAE, you could also apply for an Out Pass (Emergency Certificate) at your home embassy. It is a document which allows people without a passport to travel in special circumstances. The validity period of an Out Pass varies from country to country; therefore, you should get clarity about this from your embassy before making a decision.
I HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION ABOUT MY CASE. WHO CAN I CONTACT TO GET VISA STATUS CLARITY?
You can call the toll-free number 800-453 for any queries regarding the amnesty program. The Amer Centre is another alternative to get clarity about your visa status.
GENERAL RULES AGAINST OVERSTAYING IN THE UAE
The UAE welcomes foreigners from all parts of the world for tourism and business. The only requirement for them is to stay within the confines of the law of the land. People who stay longer than their visa period, have to pay overstay fines in the UAE.
What happens if I overstay my UAE visa? This is a common question that several expat residents ask themselves. Well, overstaying in any foreign country is a punishable crime. Different countries deal with such cases differently.
OVERSTAY FINES IN THE UAE
Whether you are in the UAE on a short-term tourist visa or a long-term residence visa, it is important to remember the date when your visa ends.
It is vital to apply for a renewal or modification before the cut-off date. If you fail to do so, you will have to pay penalties.
OVERSTAY FINES IN THE UAE ON TOURIST OR VISIT VISA
Tourist or visit visas are generally for a short period. Tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30 days or 90 days duration, for single or multiple entry categories. Often people visit the country hoping to find a job or to attend a business meeting. At times the recruitment takes longer than expected or the meeting gets delayed and they end up breaching their visa conditions by overstaying in the UAE.
The UAE government provides a 10-day grace period for tourists and visit visa holders. This means there is a 10-day window from the date your visa ends. However, a fine is applicable from the 11th day.
The fine of staying one extra day is AED 200. From day two, the government charges AED 100 for each day as an overstay fine in the UAE. Moreover, an additional AED 100 will also be taken as service charges when you are exiting the country.
OVERSTAY FINES IN THE UAE FOR RESIDENTS VISA OFFENDERS
For those who have resident status, i.e. valid long-term residence visa holders, the grace period is thirty days. For a period of 30 days after your visa expiry, you will not have to pay overstay fines in the UAE.
However, if you are leaving the country on the 31st day, a fine of AED 125 will have to be paid. For every subsequent day, a further AED 25 would be added up until six months. After six months, the penalty goes up to AED 50 per day. The next is AED 100 per day which is charged when you have overstayed for a year.
HOW TO AVOID OVERSTAYING FINES IN THE UAE – MODIFYING VISA STATUS
The government of the UAE allows all visa holders to apply for modification in their visa status while staying in the country. However, you will have to prove that you meet the conditions of the new visa and pay the necessary fees. More importantly, you must apply for the modification before the expiry of your current visa to avoid having to pay hefty penalties.
The visa processing in the UAE has become much simpler these days. One can easily check their visa status online and make the necessary arrangements to update their visa status.
Hence, as a responsible individual, one has to ensure that they don’t end up overstaying. Apply for modifications within the given time frame or leave before the end of your visa term.
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