Abu Dhabi: Last Friday saw a series of important decisions by the UAE Cabinet on the visa and entry policies to the Emirates. The revisions include cancellation of its previous decision on the validity of visas and entry permits for those inside the country from March 1, 2020, until the end of December of this year.
The Cabinet also made several amendments to the Resolutions concerning the Identity and Citizenship sectors. Some other decisions were related to the continuity of works in various sectors suspended since the pandemic hit the country. The decision came after the current situation was studied in detail to ensure that there were no negative effects or repercussions on various sectors.
The Cabinet approved the cancellation of the decision regarding the validity of residency visas for expatriates, who are in or outside the country and if their visas expired between March 1 and March 31st, 2020. The decision on the validity of visas and entry permits for those inside the country from March 1st, 2020, until the end of December of this year stands cancelled. The decision on identity cards that expired on March 1st, 2020, being considered valid until the end of December 2020, will also be cancelled. The Resolutions from the Cabinet has come to effect, today onwards.
The Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship was directly instructed by the Cabinet to start collecting the fees due for providing services from July 12th.
The Cabinet re-established the collection of administrative fines for violations mentioned in the decisions of the Cabinet that organize the services provided by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship as of 11th July, 2020. The Cabinet decided to grant three months to citizens, Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, citizens, and residents inside the country for renewal of their documents. It also agreed to grant one month to citizens, GCC citizens and residents from the date of their arrival in the country (who spent less than six months outside the country) to renew their documents.
A time frame is granted to the UAE residents who are outside the country and their residency expired after March 1st, to return to the country. This time frame is also applicable to residents who have exceeded a period of six months outside the Emirates. This time frame starts when the associated nation and UAE are connected with airline service and the duration of the time frame will be determined by a decision issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
It also endorsed that any administrative fees or fines must be collected after the deadlines specified in this resolution, and no financial fines for the exemption period will be collected. Administrative fees and financial fines will be reactivated on all services provided by the Federal Authority.
All these decisions are made with the aim of return to normalcy for various services and sectors and the resumption of international air traffic after the lock-down. The cabinet instructed that the acceptance of fees should be made only through electronic systems to avoid any kind of crowding by the people. The service departments in the country should consider the renewed electronic identity card in the smart application of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship until the issuance of the identity card.