Tourists and visitors to the UAE must enter the country within a specific period after the issuance of their travel visa.
For instance, those with a 30-day visit visa must enter the UAE within 30 days of its issuance.
However, if travellers are unable to enter UAE within that specified period, they must cancel the visa by paying a fee, according to the latest process.
Alternatively, they can extend their entry into the country by two months by paying a fee of Dh200.Raheesh Babu, the Chief Operating Officer of Musafir.com, stated that this has been the situation for the past month.
Those with an unused visit visa can only apply for a new one after cancelling the previous one. Babu added, “The portal will reject the new visa unless the application of the unused visa is cancelled from the immigration system.”
Libin Varghese, the operational head of Rooh Tourism, pointed out that earlier if a traveller failed to enter the country within the designated time, the visa would be automatically cancelled in the system, and the visitor could enter the country with a new visa.
“But now, the immigration portal will not automatically remove the file. It will be deleted from the system only at the applicant’s request,” added Varghese.
Charges for cancelling unused visa
The cost of cancelling an unused visa varies depending on the travel agent. Varghese estimated that it could cost up to Dh300.
What happens if the unused visa application is not cancelled?
According to industry experts, if the unused visa application is not cancelled, the traveller will not be able to apply for a new visa.In order to apply for a new one, the unused application must be cancelled, said Bitto Peter, manager, Al Ghazi Tours and Tourism.
If one fails to cancel the file from the system, “The visitor will not be able to apply for a new visa as the system will not accept the application,” said Varghese.
Extending the time to enter countryIf a traveller is unable to enter the UAE within the visa time frame, they can extend the time to enter the country for another 60 days by paying Dh200 through the immigration portal. “It’s better to extend it for another 60 days,” says Bitto Peter.
Some travel agents outside the UAE have reported that their clients’ new visas have been rejected due to unused visas. “Most of my clients are business travellers.
Because of other engagements, they couldn’t travel, and their visas remained unused. When I reapplied for a new visa, the system rejected it. After enquiry, I was told to remove the application from the portal after paying a fee of Rs3,600 (Dh160).
Due to this change, I informed all my clients about this situation before starting their application process,” said Taha Siddique, owner of Siddique Travels in India.