The Emirati government recently announced updated visa requirements for residents of Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Key Points:

  • Residents of GCC countries, their dependents and accompanying travelers must apply for an entry visa online to enter the United Arab Emirates.
  • GCC residents can submit their entry visa applications through this website.
  • The entry visa will allow residents of GCC countries, their dependents and accompanying travelers to stay in the UAE for 30 days.
  • Travelers can no longer extend their entry visa for an additional 30 days; instead, they must leave the country and apply for another visa.

Additional Information: Passports of residents of GCC countries must have at least three months’ validity from their date of entry into the UAE. Dependents and accompanying travelers must travel with the GCC resident to enter the UAE.

BAL Analysis: Residents of GCC countries should ensure they meet the new entry visa requirements when planning travel to the UAE, including having a valid passport and a resident permit that was issued in a GCC country.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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IMPACT — MEDIUM

The Emirati government recently announced that it will no longer issue a UAE Residence Visa stamp in Residence Visas issued in Dubai.

Key Points:

  • As of Dec. 12, foreign nationals applying for a UAE Residence Visa in Dubai will no longer receive a UAE Residence Visa stamp in their passport.
  • Foreign nationals are now issued an Emirates Identity Card, which will serve as proof of residency in Dubai.
  • Foreign nationals must hold an Emirates Identity Card as proof of their residency status to reenter the country.

BAL Analysis: Emirati authorities removed the Residence Visa stamp requirement for Dubai to align Dubai with other Emirates that have stopped providing stamps in passports. Residence Visa holders are reminded that they must now hold an Emirates Identity Card to enter the UAE.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT — MEDIUM

The Emirati government recently amended its visa policies for foreign nationals applying for a visit visa extension.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals needing to extend their visit visas are now required to leave the country to apply for an extension.
  • Previously, individuals were permitted to stay in the country while they applied for a visit visa extension because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Immigration authorities will now only issue visit visas valid for 30 or 60 days (decreased from 90 days).

BAL Analysis: Emirati authorities are once again requiring foreign nationals to leave the country when applying for a visit visa extension. Authorities had temporarily lifted this policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing foreign nationals to stay in the UAE while they applied for an extension; however as the virus situation has improved, authorities determined the policy was no longer needed.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT — MEDIUM

The Emirati government recently extended its grace period for some foreign nationals whose visas were canceled.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals can stay in the United Arab Emirates for 180 days past the cancelation date of their residence permit if they are:
    • Golden residency holders and their family members.
    • Green residency holders and their family members.
    • The widow or divorcee of a foreigner residing in the UAE.
    • Students who recently finished their studies.
    • Skilled professionals in the first and second level classifications of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization.
  • Foreign nationals can stay in the UAE for 90 days past the cancelation date of their visa if they are:
    • Skilled professionals in the third level classification of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization.
    • Real estate owners.
  • Foreign nationals can stay in the UAE for 60 days past the cancelation date of their visa if they hold a visa issued in the presence of a guarantor or host (non-degree holder).
  • Foreign nationals can stay in the UAE for 30 days past the cancelation date of their visa if they hold any visa not mentioned above.

BAL Analysis: Emirati authorities updated visa overstay grace periods to coordinate with recent widespread immigration changes announced in early October.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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IMPACT — MEDIUM

The Emirati government recently updated its overstay fines for certain visa types.

Key Points:

  • As of Nov. 5, tourist and visitor visa holders who overstay their visas must pay 50 AED (about US$14), decreased from 100 AED, per day of overstay.
  • Residence visa holders who overstay their visas must pay 50 AED, increased from 25 AED, per day of overstay.
  • Foreign nationals who do not renew their residence visa on time have a 30-day grace period to cancel and change their visa category or leave the UAE.

Additional Information: UAE authorities announced they will extend the 30-day grace period to six months; however, they have yet to set an implementation date.

BAL Analysis: Emirati authorities updated visa overstay fines in coordination with recent widespread immigration changes announced in early October. Individuals should note that the UAE’s government portals have not been updated to reflect the most recent changes, but foreign nationals should take the new visa overstay fines into account.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT — MEDIUM

The Emirati government recently opened its multiple-entry tourist visa application to foreign nationals traveling to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals holding a Hayya Card for the 2022 FIFA World Cup can now aderal%20Authority%20for%20Identity,%20Citizenship,%20Customs%20and%20Ports%20Securitypply for a multiple-entry tourist visa to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days through this website.
  • Visa holders can apply for an additional 90-day extension.
  • Visa holders are not required to travel to Qatar before entering the UAE.
  • Visa holders can conduct business meetings, attend conferences and perform similar unpaid business activities while staying in the UAE for the World Cup.

Additional Information: As of Nov. 1, most foreign nationals must have a fan ID called a Hayya Card to enter Qatar. In order to obtain a Hayya Card, applicants need to show that they have tickets for a World Cup match between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 and accommodations for their time in Qatar.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals who hold a Hayya Card for the 2022 FIFA World Cup can now apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa to enter the UAE. World Cup travelers are reminded that the Hayya Card will serve as a valid visa to enter Qatar from Nov. 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023. Foreign nationals attending the World Cup are encouraged to apply for the card as soon as possible to avoid delays.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has relaxed its COVID-19 health policies and entry requirements for Abu Dhabi.

Key Points:

  • As of Sept. 28, individuals who are traveling to Abu Dhabi and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must take a PCR test once every 30 days to maintain “green status” in the Green Pass system within the Al Hosn app.
  • Travelers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must take a PCR test once every seven days to maintain “green status” in the Green Pass system.
  • Individuals who do not maintain “green status” will not be permitted to enter public places while in Abu Dhabi.
  • Travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, are no longer required to wear a mask when entering Abu Dhabi.

Additional Information: Individuals are required to show the Al Hosn app to verify their COVID-19 status in order to enter public places. More information regarding the Green Pass system is available here.

BAL Analysis: Travelers are reminded that entry requirements may change with little or no notice. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has announced that it plans to launch a new electronic visa platform in the beginning of October.

Key Points:

  • Emirati authorities plan to upgrade their online visa platform Oct. 3, allowing foreign nationals to apply for visa services, including but not limited to tourists visas, job seekers visas and visa extensions, through an online platform.
  • Foreign nationals will be able to submit applications through this website.
  • Employers registered in certain Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will continue to use the local electronic platform when applying for visa services.

Additional Information: Emirati authorities have yet to say if the new electronic visa platform will include the option to apply for the Green visa.

BAL Analysis: The Emirati government plans to expand its electronic visa platform to streamline visa application processes and reduce processing times. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

The Qatari government has eased COVID-19 entry requirements.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival.
  • Foreign national visitors must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure or a negative RAT test taken within 24 before departure to enter the country. Self-administered RAT tests will not be accepted as a form of proof to enter the country.
  • Travelers arriving in Qatar must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobile phones upon entering the country.
  • Travelers who are not Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals or residents must complete the pre-entry registration process through this website within three days before arrival.

BAL Analysis: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

The Emirati government will allow foreign nationals traveling for the 2022 World Cup to apply for multiple-entry tourist visas to enter the United Arab Emirates.

Key Points:

  • Beginning Nov. 1, foreign nationals who hold a Hayya Card to enter Qatar for the 2022 World Cup will be allowed to apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days.
  • Multiple-entry tourist visa holders will be able to apply for an additional 90-day extension and will be able to enter and exit the country while their visa is valid.
  • Individuals will not be required to travel to Qatar before arriving in the UAE on the multiple-entry tourist visa.

Additional Information: Beginning Nov. 1, foreign nationals must have a Hayya Card, or special identification card, to enter Qatar. In order to obtain a Hayya Card, applicants will need to show that they have tickets for a World Cup match between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 and accommodations for their time in Qatar.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals who hold a Hayya Card and are traveling to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup will be able to apply for multiple-entry tourist visas to enter the UAE beginning Nov. 1. UAE authorities are expected to provide application instructions for the visa in the coming months.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.