Cabinet cancels covid-related UAE visa relaxations

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 11 July 2020: The cabinet has approved a decision to amend a number of resolutions related to the identity and citizenship sector, adopted when the Covid-19 pandemic had begun to spread.

Now, most activities and government departments have returned to work.

The cabinet decision came after the current situation was studied in detail to ensure that there were no negative effects or repercussions on various sectors, said Wam.

The cabinet approved the cancellation of the decision regarding the validity of residency visas for expatriates, who are in or outside the country and if their visas expired between 1st and 31st March, 2020.

The decision on the validity of visas and entry permits for those inside the country from 1st March, 2020, until the end of December of this year stands cancelled.

The decision on identity cards that expired on 1st March 2020, being considered valid until the end of December 2020, will also be cancelled.

The resolution will come into effect from 11th July, 2020.

ICA to start collecting due fees

The council instructed the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to start collecting the fees due for providing services from 12th July, 2020.

The cabinet also cancelled the decision to stop the activation of administrative fines for violations mentioned in the decisions of the cabinet that organise the services provided by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship as of 11th July, 2020.

3 months to renew documents

The cabinet decided to grant three months to citizens, Gulf Cooperation Council citizens, and residents inside the country for renewal of their documents.

It also agreed to grant one month to citizens, GCC citizens and residents from the date of their arrival in the country (who spent less than six months outside the country) to renew their documents.

It also approved granting residents who are outside the country and whose residency expired after 1st March, 2020, or who have exceeded a period of six months outside the country, a period to return to the country from the date of opening the airspace between the two countries according to a time frame determined by a decision issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, ICA.

It also endorsed that any administrative fees or fines must be collected after the deadlines specified in this resolution, and no financial fines for the exemption period will be collected. Administrative fees and financial fines will be reactivated on all services provided by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship as of 12th July, 2020.

Increased electronic services

The cabinet instructed that the current services should be provided through electronic systems as far as possible to facilitate and limit the crowding of customers.

The service departments in the country should consider the renewed electronic identity card in the smart application of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship until the issuance of the identity card.

This step coincides with the return of normalcy in various fields and sectors, and the return of the international air traffic in a relative manner, as the national carriers in the country announced the launching of repatriations flights.

In conjunction, the government departments prepared to receive clients while applying the best preventive measures and social distancing standards, which enable all segments of society to obtain services safely.



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