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New UAE Visa Reforms

Content updates

Several changes for UAE residency visas have come into effect since October 2022. Many others have been applied recently including an increase in fees for visa services and extended grace periods to exit the country after visa expiry.

Below, we bring in seven residency updates we need to know:

  1. Sons & daughters sponsorship extended: Parents across the UAE can sponsor their sons till the age of twenty-five. While unmarried daughters can be sponsored for an indefinite period and disabled children get a special permit. This rule came into force on 5th September 2022.


  1. UAE Golden Visa holders can now sponsor parents on 10-year residency:  Previously, these visas used to be issued for a year, as is the case with regular residency holders. This is part of a significantly expanded Golden Visa scheme that went into effect on October 3, 2022.


  1. Sixty to one hundred eighty days grace period after visa cancellation: The period varies according to the visa type as the following:

180 days

  • Golden Visa holders and their family members
  • Green Visa holders and their family members
  • Widows or divorcees
  • Students who have completed their studies
  • Skilled professionals (first and second level in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification).

90 days

  • Skilled professionals (third level in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification)
  • Property owners

60 days

  • Normal residencies

30 days

  • Other categories
  1. Visa fees increase: The fees to avail of all services offered by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) have gone up by Dh100. The fee increase applies to Emirates ID, visit and residency visas as well. Emirates ID and the fee to issue a one-month visit visa is Dh370 instead of Dh270.


  1. Validity decreased for visas issued in free zones: The validity of freezone visas issued in the UAE has been reduced from three years to two. The new validity period went into effect from October 2022. Visas that have already been issued will remain valid for three years while the new ones will have a two-year validity. The new rule is applicable to even visas that are under process.


  1. Emirates ID replaces visa stamps on passports: This change has started on April 11, 2022. Foreign nationals applying for a UAE Residence Visa in Dubai will no longer receive a UAE Residence Visa stamp in their passport. They must hold an Emirates Identity Card as proof of their residency status to reenter the country.


  1. Re-entry permit for residents staying abroad for over six months: According to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), the application must be submitted from outside the UAE. Residents can apply for this request after six months of staying outside the country, with no specific reasons to mention. They can do so via the ICP website or service centres. Once the application is approved, the permit will be delivered via email and the applicant must enter the country within thirty days starting from the approval date. In case the application got rejected, a Dh800 issuance fee will be refunded.
Pascale Dona
By Pascale Dona
Senior Legal Editor

Pascale Dona joined Thomson Reuters in 2014 as Content Specialist. In 2007, Pascale graduated from the Lebanese University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, then moved to France and completed her Master’s degree in International Law from Nice Sophia Antipolis University. Pascale has more than 10 years of experience as legal Specialist in Lebanon and UAE. She is a native Arabic speaker and proficient in English and French.

Pascale is currently a Senior Legal Editor for Thomson Reuters MENA. She is based in Dubai and is responsible for maintaining and providing the latest legal content for the MENA region.

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