As you may be aware that recently the UAE introduced new rules for its residence visa holders who are living outside the country. And according to the new rules, UAE residents who have been abroad for over six months will now have to apply for a re-entry permit, which will allow them to return to the UAE.
It is worth noting here that typically if expatriate residents stay outside the UAE for more than 180 days continuously, their residency visas are cancelled automatically.
However, with the new rules which come into effect in January 2023, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP) launched a re-entry permit service, allowing such residents to apply for an entry permit to return.
Fines and Fees for Re-entry Permit
The total cost to avail of the service would depend on the time one has stayed outside the country. A fine of Dh100 is charged for every 30 days or less spent outside the UAE. Additionally, the ICP fee comes to about Dh150. Travel agents may levy their own additional charges.
Valid Reasons for Staying Outside UAE
The most important factor in getting re-entry permit applications approved is a valid reason. Residents will also be required to provide proof of residency. The exact set of “valid reasons” has not been specified by the ICP.
According to some travel agents in the UAE, medical reasons are considered, in addition to humanitarian cases and those related to work. Applicants must submit copies of their Emirates ID and passport, as well as explain why they are applying for the permit.
Not all types of residents are required to apply for a re-entry permit. Golden Visa holders, for example, can stay outside the country for as long as they need without affecting their residency. Among the other exceptions are:
- Expatriate students studying in universities or institutes abroad.
- Students enrolled in educational institutions abroad.
- Residents sponsored by UAE diplomatic and consular representatives and their dependents.
- Foreigner wife of an Emirati citizen.
- Domestic helpers accompanying Emiratis have the scholarship to study abroad.
- Domestic helpers accompanying UAE patients travelling or sent abroad for treatment.
- Expatriate residents and their companions are sent abroad for treatment, provided they submit a medical report approved by authorities in the UAE.
- Domestic helpers accompanying members of diplomatic and consular missions representing the UAE abroad and employees of such missions.
- Expatriate residents working for the public sector sent by their employers to attend training or specialist courses, or those working in their employers’ offices abroad and their families.
- Any other person excluded under a decision from ICP.
The ICP specifies that the application must be submitted from outside the UAE, and when approved, the applicant must enter the UAE within 30 days.