The UAE has changed its rules on re-entry permits for residence visa holders. Find out more in this article produced by Auxilium.
The UAE Immigration Authorities have announced some important changes to the rules and processes surrounding re-entry into the country for residence visa holders who have been absent for more than six months.
Previously, the residency status of an individual was automatically canceled if they had been outside the UAE for a continuous period of more than 180 days. However, the new system allows all residence visa holders, including employees and their dependents, to obtain a re-entry permit through a new online immigration portal.
Under the new system, implemented by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP), individuals with a valid visa who have been out of the country for 180 days or longer can submit an application via the portal, giving specific details on why they have exceeded the time limit. Approval for a re-entry permit will be at the discretion of the authorities.
The system does not affect those who were previous exempt from the 180 day rule, including students, medical patients, and domestic helpers of diplomats, and it does not apply at all to Golden Visa holders.
Residents can apply for their re-entry permits through accredited travel agents, and approved government service centers, as well as via the portal. There is an application fee of around AED 950, and once approved the visa holder must return to the UAE within 30 days, or face financial penalties.
There will be potential benefits and obligations for employers, for instance with employees who are on long-term assignments or projects, or on secondment to offices in other countries, and who are expected to return at some point to the UAE.
Employers will need to consider whether it is more expedient, financially and logistically, to cancel an existing employment visa or keep it open, depending on the expected length of time spent out of the country.
If you have questions related to visa or employment regulations in the GCC Region, or if you are considering expanding your business and employing staff there, then you should talk to Auxilium, one of the leading EOR and outsource staffing solutions providers in the region. We help organizations to expand and to recruit staff in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
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