As you may be aware, the UAE’s immigration department suspended inside-country visa extensions last month. As a result, visitors who want to change the status of their visa while in the UAE no longer have any options, and those who want to renew their visas must leave the country and then return.
In response to this change, travel agents in the UAE have already begun offering same-day visa status change with airport-to-airport packages, and many people on tourist visas in the UAE are now taking advantage of the same.
UAE Same-Day Visa Status Change
According to a Khaleej Times report, UAE-based travel agents claim that 600-800 people use the air-to-air status change facilities in Dubai every day.
According to the agent currently, only flydubai and Salam Air provide the service from Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2. People can choose to change their visa status on the same day or stay in a neighbouring country for a day and return the next day.
The same-day process takes about four hours, during which they fly out, wait in a neighbouring country’s airport, and return on a later flight.
The price of these flights, according to the travel agent, varies depending on the package.
“The rates vary between Dh1,300 and Dh1,600, depending on what kind of services people want. For example, if people choose to stay in Oman, the cost of a one-day hotel stay will push them into the higher end of that price range,” said Raheesh Babu, COO of Musafir.com.
Another travel agent said, “There are desperate passengers whose visa has expired or is nearing expiry. Some nationals find this option cheaper than flying to their own country and returning on a new visa. So, demand is extremely high for these flights.”
Furthermore, Noushad Hassan from Alhind Travel strongly recommends using flight services for those wanting to change their visa status. Hassan stated that “there are several restrictions, especially for certain nationalities” for those using the bus, and that some passengers have encountered issues at the border.
Hassan advises all passengers to use the A2A service due to the dynamic nature of the situation.
It is important to note that, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was always necessary for visit visa holders to exit the country and re-enter on a new visa. However, due to travel difficulties during the pandemic, the UAE modified these requirements for humanitarian reasons.
(Source: Khaleej Times)