UAE Residents: Re-Entry Permit Guidelines For Those Staying Outside The Country For Over 6 Months

Travelling is amazing, but sometimes it can be pretty different to keep up with all the different visas you have going on. The rule of thumb in the UAE used to be that if you want to maintain your residency visa in the UAE while also spending the majority of your time abroad you have to enter the country at least once every 6 months. However, this rule has recently been amended, helping out all travel-loving UAE residents. Now you can apply for a new Re-entry permit if you have been out of UAE for longer than 6 months. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Also read: UAE Residency Visa Process Gets Easier & Moves Online

What Are The New Re-Entry Guidelines?

UAE residents who have spent six months or more outside the country now have the option to reactivate their visa status online. The Federal Authority for Identity and Nationality, Customs, and Port Security (ICP) recently introduced new regulations to facilitate the process of re-entering the Emirates for individuals who have stayed abroad for an extended period due to work, studies, or medical treatment. However, it’s important to note that these updated protocols do not apply to golden visa holders, who are permitted to reside outside the country freely during this timeframe. Under the revised rules, residents can now reactivate their existing residency status and return to the Emirates using the same permit, subject to official approval. Applications for reactivation can be submitted through the ICA’s website.

Also read: UAE Residency Visa Process Gets Easier – Moves Online

Previously, individuals with expired visas had to reapply for residency to regularise their status. According to state news agency Wam, permit requests must include copies of the applicant’s Emirates ID, passport, and a statement explaining the reasons for the delay in returning to the country. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with expired visas were allowed to enter the UAE due to global travel restrictions and lockdowns that prevented residents from reaching the country on time. However, regular procedures were gradually reinstated in 2021.

Also read: UAE Removes Grace Period for Visit Visas: Understanding The New Policy & Fines

What Is The 6-Month Rule?

The significance of the six-month residency rule, which exists in many countries worldwide, was explained by Haider Hussain, a partner at immigration services company Fragomen, in an interview with The National last year. Hussain emphasised the importance of individuals being aware of this rule and making appropriate plans. The rule is in place to ensure that individuals with employment residence permits and their dependents remain in the UAE. If someone stays outside the country for six months or more, it raises questions about their status as genuine residents.

How Can I Re-Activate My Visa If I Am Still Abroad?

UAE residents who spend six months or more outside the country can now reactivate their visa status online on the ICP website.

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