As the UAE temporarily suspended all passenger flights due to the outbreak, people on visit visas or tourist visas who have limited number of days to stay in the country are forced to stay. However, this can become a problem as visitors who overstay may incur Fines.
Fortunately, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said that affected visitors would be able to extend their stay legitimately in the country.
UAE Visit Visa Holders Granted Permission to Stay in the Country
ICA has assured UAE visitors who cannot leave the country due to closure of borders will receive necessary support by granting them permission to stay legitimately in the country. The actual process of how this will be implemented will be announced in the coming days.
Below is the announcement from ICA:
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, ICA, has affirmed that the visitors to the UAE who could not leave the country due to closure of air and land borders will receive necessary support by granting them permission to stay legitimately in the country. A specific mechanism for that will be announced in the few coming days.
“The ICA is keen to deal with various developments arising from the measures taken at both regional and international levels to contain the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, in a way that will ensure necessary care to all residents of the UAE,” the Authority said in a statement.
— Identity and Citizenship- UAE (@ICAUAE) March 24, 2020
Normally, once your visitor’s visa expires, you will need to Exit the country, or modify your status by getting another visa (either for employment or through a sponsor). Otherwise, there is a penalty for every day that you will extend your stay without a valid visa. So this is a relief for many visitors who have visit visas that are about to expire.
While the UAE is currently working round-the-clock given the current crisis, and as we await further updates on the policy for the visit visa extension guidelines, it is best that you check with your travel agencies where you got your Visit Visa/Tourist Visa for advice. We will keep you posted once an update is posted.