UAE visa rules change causes surge in demand for tickets to neighbouring countries
Changes to the United Arab Emirates’ visitor visa rules have caused a surge in demand for tickets to neighbouring countries – both by plane and by bus. Under the new rules, it is necessary to fly out of the UAE to renew visas.
Travel agency representatives said air carriers had added several flights to the Sultanate of Oman from UAE cities after the new visa rules were announced.
Before the pandemic, there were flights to the UAE for those wishing to change visa status – such as to the Iranian island of Kish. These were cancelled after the authorities allowed visa extensions without flying out of the country. Travel agents are now waiting for the former flights to be restored.
It is worth clarifying that the option to extend visitor visas without having to leave the UAE was granted to tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic, when international transport links were restricted Now, travel agents said, this indulgence has been abolished.
In November 2022, the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Port Security launched a mechanism to standardise fees for tourist and resident visa violations.
For example, the fine for overstaying tourist and visitor visas has been halved from AED 100 to AED 50 per day. At the same time, residents who exceed the stay limit after their visa expires will pay AED 50 instead of AED 25 for each day of overstay, or double the fine.
Under the new visa rules, resident visa holders have a six-month period to change status. If, after this period, the foreigner fails to obtain a new visa or leave the country, he or she may be arrested for violating migration laws.
Tourists may also be arrested if their visa has been overstayed for more than 30 days, for which regular checks are carried out. The UAE’s new visa regulations, which came into force on October 3, allow tourists to stay in the country for no more than 60 days.
Previously, tourists could apply for visas for 30, 60 and 90 days. Under the new visa rules such visas can still be applied for by foreigners wishing to visit friends or relatives in the country. To do this it will be sufficient to provide documents confirming family ties and to indicate the reason for the visit.
Source: Khaleej Times
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