COVID-19: How to change visit visa status without exiting the UAE

Inside country visa change options are available to visit or tourist visa holders

Dubai: If you are in the UAE on a visit or tourist visa, which is about to expire, and you are unable to travel out of the UAE, you can apply for a new visa without the need to exit the country.

Here is all you need to know about the process.

How do I apply for a visit visa?

According to the website of Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), your visit visa has to be applied for by a sponsor, who is a person or organisation who will be responsible for you while you are here, and will represent you to the authorities as and when required. For a visit visa, your sponsor could be:

– a hotel or tourist company

– Airlines and airlines handlers

– Other organisations based in the UAE

– Individuals (relatives or friends) already resident in the United Arab Emirates may, subject to guidelines, also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa

Changing visa status

Tourist visa holders can extend or change their current UAE tourist visa or visit visa to new (what?) without the need to exit the UAE. You can reach out to a travel agency in the emirate where your visa was issued to apply for the new visa. This should be done at least three to five working days before your visa is about to expire. Quite often, tourist agencies allow applicants to send the necessary documents online and make the payment digitally as well, making the entire process very convenient.

You can apply for a 30-day or a 90-day visa. The cost will depend on the visa validity as well as the emirate that you are applying from.

Documents required for processing inside the country visa change

• Passport copy (which should be valid for at least six months)

• Passport size photograph

• Old visa tourist/cancelled visa copy

• On arrival nationalities would only require Passport copy and photograph if they have entered UAE using on-arrival facility.

• If the visa was applied for by a relative or friend, they may need to submit a copy of their residence visa page.

“The visa change happens very easily, and is often called ‘in-out’ process. The complete fees include the change of status and the new visa charges,” Sardar Ali, public relations officer at Al Ain-based Saifee Typing Services told Gulf News.

Charges

According to Sirajudeen Ummer, a Public Relations Officer with Dubai-based First Gate Business Services, the cost of the visa depends on the emirate you are applying from and may vary slightly from one tourist agency to another.

Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah

Tourist visa inside country one month with change status – Dh1,100

Tourist visa inside country three months with change status – Dh1,450

Dubai

Tourist visa inside country one month with change status – Dh1,800

Tourist visa inside country three months with change status – Dh2,100

“This is what travel agencies usually charge in the market. There is no limitation on how many times you can apply for the new visa,” Ummer added.

How long does the process take?

The whole process take three to four working days. In urgent cases, if the visa expiry is looming, travel agents may provide an urgent service at an additional cost.

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