Dubai has extended the validity of expired residency visas till December 9. This is a relief to thousands of Non-Resident Indians stranded back home owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Many residents whose visas expired after the UAE put in place a suspension on inbound travelers from several countries, including India, have been granted the automatic visa renewal for three months, including the one-month grace period for reapplication, according to an Amer centre call employee.
Indications are that applicants need to reach Dubai before November 9 and apply for new visas. This move will be beneficial for thousands of Indians especially Keralites who were stranded in Dubai during the pandemic.
Those wishing to travel into the UAE can check their visa status on the website https://amer.gdrfad.gov.ae/visa-inquiry.
Residents stranded abroad holding expired visas and travel agents have also confirmed these reports.
Pre-travel GDRFA approval is still mandatory
An Amer centre call employee in Dubai told Khaleej Times that those stranded abroad with expired visas have been granted an automatic renewal on their expired residency visas until December 9, including the one-month grace period.
“However, before traveling into the UAE, they need to apply for a pre-travel GDRFA approval. This is Adhere to all other RT-PCR testing protocols set by the government,” the call centre agent explained.
Travel agents who have been trying to get pre-travel approvals for residents stranded in India and Pakistan, also confirmed that their clients have been granted an automatic visa extension.
The agents have reiterated that the automatic extension has only been awarded to Dubai residency visa holders. The status of residents in other emirates is not immediately clear.
Residents who’ve stayed outside the UAE for over six months can also return.