UAE residence visa holders can now apply for a re-entry permit, if they are outside the country for over six months. Residents will have to specify the reason for staying outside and provide proof as well.
The service can be accessed by residents via the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) website, under the ‘smart services’ page.
Residents can also apply for a re-entry permit via smart service centres or typing centres.
On completing the process, the applicant will then have to wait until the ICP sends back an approval email for re-entry. This could take about five working days.
Residence visa is cancelled automatically, if the holder has been outside the country for over 180 days. However, Golden Visa holders are exempt from this.
Recent visa reforms in the UAE
The new re-entry permit system follows the latest slew of changes set up by the UAE government. Recently, Arabian Business also reported that the fee for issuing a visa and Emirates ID increased by AED100.
In addition, visit visas can no longer be extended in the UAE, and will require the holder to exit the country and arrive back with a new visa.
Residence visas are linked to the holder’s Emirates ID as well, and will no longer require a visa sticker in their passport.