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UAE residence permits: rules change in 2020

This article contains information that is of concern to those who hold the UAE residence permits and those who plan to acquire them in 2020. 

UAE residence permits: the changes from 23.07.2020

On July 22, 2020, it became known that starting 24.07.2020 all legal residents of the United Arab Emirates entering the country should bring negative PCR test results. The tests should be made within 96 hours prior to the time of entrance (children below 12 are exempt from this requirement).   

The tests shall be made in one of the accredited testing laboratories. You can find the list of such laboratories here: https://screening.purehealth.ae/application.

At the moment, it is unclear what people entering the UAE from the countries where such laboratories are inexistent should do. We recommend that they should find out with the airline administration if tests from regular licensed (non-accredited) laboratories would be acceptable.   

It is also not quite clear if this requirement applies only to those who need an ICA approval or also to those who are planning to return to the Emirates via the GDRFA scheme.

UAE residence permits: the changes from 14.07.2020

Some time ago, the UAE Government announced automatic extension of all residence permits until 31.12.2020. It was also declared that no overstay fines would be applied to the holders of tourist visas if their visas had expired before the air travel was resumed.

The United Arab Emirates are gradually resuming air travel. The Emirate of Dubai in particular became open to foreign visitors since 07.07.2020.

On 10.07.2020, the Government of the UAE announced changes related to the residence permits expiry dates:  

  • The holders of the permits that expire in March or April of 2020 have to have them extended before 12.07.2020. Fines will be levied after this date.  
  • The holders of the permits that expire in May of 2020 have to have them extended before 11.08.2020. Fines will be levied after this date. 
  • The holders of the permits that expire in June of 2020 have to have them extended before 10.09.2020. Fines will be levied after this date.  
  • Those who were visiting the UAE on tourist or short-term visit visas that expired after 01.03.2020 have to change their status or leave the UAE before 10.10.2020.

The UAE residence permit holders whose permits expired after 01.03.2020 will enjoy a grace period that will allow returning to the UAE with an expired residence permit. The same applies to those legal residents of the country who have been staying outside of it for more than six months. The grace period will start when the air travel is fully resumed. The holders of the expired UAE residence permits will have to return to the country on the schedule that the FAIC is going to publish.

It would be a good idea to extend the permits as soon as you can in order to avoid the fines. It is always a good idea to have your residence permit extended in advance.  

If you are currently outside the UAE and you have been absent from the country for close to six months, we highly recommend that you make a trip there if only making such a trip is possible for you.

Legal residents of the UAE have to obtain an entrance permit in order to enter the country. GDRFA grants such permits to legal residents of Dubai. The permits are valid for 30 days. Residents of all other Emirates have to apply to ICA for entrance permits that are valid for 21 days. We will be delighted to assist you in filling out the application forms.

Please contact us at info@offshore-pro.info if you would like to obtain a UAE residence permit. We can help! We will also be happy to assist you with registering a business company in the UAE and setting up a bank account there.

Obtain a legal residence permit in the UAE via registering a company in the country

Those who register a business company in the United Arab Emirates become eligible for a legal residence permit. Such permits can be obtained not only for the company owner but also for his/ her relatives and company employees.

Advantages of setting up a business company in the UAE

There are virtually no taxes in this jurisdiction. There is only a 5% VAT but it is levied only on the goods traded within the territory of the United Arab Emirates. Besides, registering a company in the country makes it possible to acquire legal residence for the owner’s family members and company personnel.

Obtain a legal residence permit in the UAE via purchasing real estate in the country

If you purchase real property in Dubai that is worth more than US$ 272,000, you will be qualified for obtaining a legal residence permit in the UAE.


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