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Employment Update - UAE

14 May 2020
In line with the announcements made by the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship concerning the extension of residency visa validity until 31 December 2020, the DWF Middle East LLP Employment Team set out all you need to know when dealing with visas within the Dubai International Financial Centre.

All employees and dependants (inside or outside the UAE) with visas expiring after 1 March 2020 will have their visa validity extended until 31 December 2020. Employee records in DIFC’s Portal will be updated accordingly.

All individuals inside UAE with entry permits (visit visa, tourist visa or residency entry permit) that are expired after 1 March 2020 will have their entry permit validity extended until 31 December 2020.

Employers who wish to submit applications for visa renewal can still apply on the DIFC Portal. The visa will be valid from the renewal date up to 3 years and medical fitness test will not be required.

Individuals with expired visas who are eligible for the extension and need to exit the UAE are required to renew the visa before exiting the country. 

Employees with cancelled visas that could not exit the UAE due to the current lockdown will be able to have their overstay fines waived at the airport at the time of exit.

Employees with cancelled visas or visit visa that are in the process of obtaining a new visa with a new employer must complete the change of status within the permitted grace period to avoid fines. Fines will still be applicable for this category.

Entity establishment cards must be renewed on time. Late fines will still be applicable for delay in renewal of establishment cards. Entities must ensure that the DIFC license is renewed to be able to apply for establishment card renewal. The penalty for each month of delay is AED 100.

The residency visa of individuals (with valid visa) who completed 6 months outside the UAE after 1 March 2020 will not be blocked until 31 December 2020.

Individuals with cancelled visas that are applying for a new visa while they are inside the UAE (given that no over stay fines are issued to them) will be allowed to complete the new visa process without the medical fitness test. However, the visa will be issued for one year only. Visas issued for 3 years will still require a medical fitness test to be completed.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship have started issuing electronic visa stamping and the same will be available under the service request documents list upon completing the visa process. Individuals who need to have the visa stamped on the passport must have a valid air ticket and contact the DIFC.

Further Reading