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UAE visa reforms: Visitors can now stay in the country for 90 days

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The latest visa reform comes after the June 2023 news, where it came to light that UAE had decided to end a 10-day grace period policy for visitors who overstay the visas issued in Dubai

The UAE has re-introduced the three-month or 90 days visit visa, which was scrapped at the end of 2022 and a long-term 60-day visa was introduced instead for visitors willing to visit the Gulf country for a longer duration.

A call centre executive at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP) informed the Khaleej Times that visitors who are willing to stay in the country for 90 days can make use of the opportunity.

“They should consult their travel agents who will help them in issuing the 90-days visit visa,” said the official.

According to industry experts, the reform was reintroduced by the end of May 2023, allowing visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days. However, the visa can now be extendable within the country at an additional cost based on the service provider.

“There are two types of entry permits — a tourist visa or a leisure visa and a visit visa. A tourist visa is issued for 30 or 60 days. The visit visa is issued for 90 days,” said Subair Thekepurathvalappil, senior manager for inbound and outbound operations at Regal Tours Worldwide, adding further that this extended visit visa complements the existing tourist visa options, which includes a 30-day or 60-day stay, offering travellers greater flexibility in planning their itineraries.

The 30-day and the recently introduced 60-day tourist visas have long been popular among visitors seeking shorter stays in the UAE, which in turn provides them ample time to explore the Emirates’ iconic landmarks and indulge in world-class shopping and dining experiences.

Libin Varghese, Sales Director at Rooh Tourism LLC, said, “Residents are not aware of this three-month visa which has been reintroduced by the authorities.”

Industry experts also added that anyone can apply for this visa, which will be valid for Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“Currently, we have not received much inquiry about it, and visitors who prefer this entry permit are their family members residing in the UAE, as they want to spend a longer time. Take for instance, if a child who is studying in his home country visits UAE during vacations or parents of a resident,” said Libin Varghese.

While talking to the media, Subair said that a few years ago, there were only two types of entry permits in the UAE, a leisure visa which was issued for three months, and a tourist visa which was issued for 30 days.

“But, recently, there were several changes that were introduced to visa procedures last year. The three-month visa could also be extended while staying within the country by paying the extension fee and it was very popular,” said the senior manager for inbound and outbound operations at Regal Tours Worldwide.

The fee for a 90-day-visit visa varies depending on the visitors’ issuing travel expert, with a starting price of Dh1,500 and the rate can go up to Dh2,000, which can even be extended further within the country.

“The exact details of the extension have not been announced as the visa was introduced a few days ago,” said Libin Varghese.

According to Subair, one must submit a set of documents if he/she is planning to apply for a long-term visit visa.

“Once a person applies for this newly introduced visa, it may take up to five working days. But we can even receive it in two days,” the official concluded.

The latest visa reform comes after the June 2023 news, where it came to light that the Gulf nation had decided to end a 10-day grace period policy for visitors who overstay the visas issued in Dubai.

The news also stated that these individuals would have to strictly adhere to the duration of their stay as prescribed in their UAE arrival visas.

Till 2023, whenever a visitor used to cross the duration mentioned in his/her visa, a 10-day grace period was granted automatically under which no fine was imposed for overstaying in the country.

However, the latest developments suggested that the travel agents were asked to inform their clients about the new rules.

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