UAE short-term visas can be converted to residency permits without exiting country

Officials clarify that visit visa rules are unchanged and that they cannot be extended after they expire



Those holding short-terms visas in the United Arab Emirates no longer need to exit the country in order to convert their visas to residency permits, officials have said.

In the past, visit visa holders who found a job while in the country were required to exit and return with the residency permit.

“Customers will now be able to amend the status of their entry permits electronically through a few quick and user-friendly steps,” spokesman for the Naturalisation, Residency and Ports department at the Ministry of the Interior Brigadier Rashid Sultan Al Khadar told Gulf News.

“As a result, visitors will not need to leave the country, instead updating their visa status and paying all the necessary fees while in the UAE.”

The rule will also apply to spouses of residents or anyone wishing to amend the terms of their entry permits, Al Khadar added.

Officials have not yet clarified whether there will be an additional fee and if so, what it will cost.

“People can refer to any of the immigration offices or ports of entry in the UAE for the services,” said Al Khadar.

He also urged companies and visitors to submit their renewal applications before the permits expire to avoid any violations.

Meanwhile officials also clarified that visit visa regulations remain unchanged and visas that expire cannot be extended from within the UAE.

Earlier reports had suggested that short-term visas could be extended without exiting the country by paying a fee of Dhs 570.

However, the rule of waiting for one month before reapplying for a visit visa is still in force, sources at the residency department confirmed.

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