As a UAE residency visa holder, it is important to stay updated on the latest visa and immigration policies. Recently, the UAE government announced that residency visa holders who have been outside of the country for over 6 months can now apply for a re-entry permit. This is great news for those who have been unable to return to the UAE due to travel restrictions or other circumstances.
Residents can apply for the service on the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) website. The service is called ‘Issue permit for staying outside UAE over 6 months’ and can be found under ‘smart services’.
The applicant can re-enter the country only after getting an approval from the ICP. The approval process takes about five days.
To avail of the service, applicants must enter their details and that of their sponsors; and their passport and residency-related information. A mandatory field on the application seeks the reason for staying outside the country for six months or more.
Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service, confirmed that the new system has been put in place. “An in-person system used to be in place earlier before Covid-19, but now it has been unified and can be done online.”
T.P. Sudheesh, general manager, Deira Travels, also confirmed having received the notification. “There is an approval process that residents need to follow. This is available on the e-channels of the ICP.”
AdvertisementResidency is typically cancelled automatically if its holder has been outside the country for 180 days. An exception to the rule was Golden Visa holders, who can remain abroad for as long as needed without it affecting their residency status.
To be eligible to apply for a re-entry permit, you must meet the following criteria:
- Hold a valid UAE residency visa
- Have been outside of the UAE for more than 6 months
- Have a valid passport
- Have a valid Emirates ID
- Have a valid entry permit or re-entry permit (if previously issued)
How to Apply
The process for applying for a re-entry permit is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Gather all the required documents (listed above)
- Log on to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website
- Select the option for “Re-entry Permit”
- Fill in the required information and upload the necessary documents
- Pay the applicable fees
- Submit your application
It’s important to note that processing times may vary and you should check the status of your application online.
It’s important to keep in mind that a re-entry permit is not the same as a new entry permit. A re-entry permit allows you to return to the UAE after being outside of the country for more than 6 months. Once you have returned to the UAE, your residency visa will be valid again.
It’s also important to note that a re-entry permit is valid for a single entry only. If you need to leave the UAE again, you will need to apply for a new re-entry permit.