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How to apply for visa extension in UAE?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 26 July 2021
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If you are doing business with the wealthiest people in the world, and your path will bring you to the United Arab Emirates. Or maybe you are just willing to admire the view from the breathtaking Burj Khalifa over the spectacular architecture in the middle of the driest desert dunes. Maybe just to have a well-deserved vacation with your friends to enjoy the Arab hospitality and the most pristine beaches. It doesn't matter what your motivation is. The reality is - I know that you want to stay there longer because you are here reading these lines trying to figure out how to extend visa in UAE. The good news is - I am here to help you out.

Extending a visa for the land of gold and skyscrapers is a task that has relatively simple rules. In this article, I will try to present some of the crucial aspects to consider if your business( or heart )begs for a little more time in this unique destination. Some facts about the UAE visa extension fees and processing time, or the differences between 3 month UAE visa extension and long term visa extension UAE will be presented here. You are about to find this all out along with the most important tips on how to extend visa in UAE. However, let's start with some background information so you understand what we are talking about.

What should I know about the visa policy of the UAE?

skyscrapers

Generally, the UAE offers two types of visas. The short-term ones (Tourist/Visitor and Transit) and the long-term, or residence visas issued for employment, studies, family, or investment purposes. This article will talk more about the extension for the short-term visas; as for the residence visas, the extension procedure is quite simple. You need a substantial reason to prolong it - your job contract continues, you decide to get another degree, or continue your investment activities. So it is your turn to approach authorities that will ask for the necessary proof to support your claims.

Concerning the short-term visas, you have to keep in mind that the tourist visa is only intended for recreational travel purposes. However, a visitor visa can be granted for both - tourists and people traveling for business reasons. It means - if you are looking for information about the extension of a visit visa in UAE, you will find facts that are useful also if you are looking for a UAE tourist visa extension. However, it does not necessarily work the same the other way around. The good news is that the differences among both are not that vast in terms of procedures and concepts. Just keep this distinction in mind, so you don't get confused if you encounter the other name in some online blog or document.

What should I know about the visa extension UAE offers?

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The standard tourist and visitor visas usually come in two types. You can get a 30-day visa or a 90 day one. If you have either type of these, you can have a UAE tourist visa extension or an extension of visit visa in UAE just twice, and each time for no more than 30 additional days at a time.

If you are looking for just a short extension for your 30-day visa, you can go through using the benefits of the grace period. It means that everyone granted a 30-day visa has an additional 10 days after the end of this visa to leave the country or arrange a new visa. Unfortunately, this does not apply for a 3 month UAE visa extension because, in this case, it is 90 days a multiple entry visa that allows you to use these days over a half-year or 6-month period.

Nonetheless, if you have another type of canceled visa, there are chances that you will be granted a substantial grace period after all. That means if you have failed to get a long term visa extension UAE and it expired, you could be eligible for a canceled visa extension UAE that is valid for 30 days. Let me give you an example. Let's imagine you got fired, and it means your visa is also canceled. The government of the United Arab Emirates grants you a 30 day grace period to ensure you have enough time to look for another job or arrange your travel back home.

If your visa did get canceled and you still want to stay beyond the grace period, you will have to apply for a status change or a new visa to ensure that you got the canceled visa extension UAE. You will pay the fee and can stay there longer. Remember that failing to renew your status after the grace period will incur fines starting from about 30 USD per missed day.

What are visa extension UAE requirements?

uae visa

They are quite simple. You just need to present a copy of your passport valid for at least six months and a passport-type photo with white background.

How to extend visa in UAE?

embassy of uae

Now we get onto the important stuff. So how do you apply for an extension, and what is the procedure? The system was quite classic in the past - you would go into an immigration office and wait for long days to get your extension. UAE visit visa extension new rules allow to get it in a very quick and easy way.

The first option is through an app by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). You fill all the required fields, decide on the delivery method, submit the fee and then wait for your extension in an email or SMS. No need to go anywhere! Similarly, you might also visit the website of the Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship. Fill the blanks, pay the fee, and you are almost there. What is the difference between these two? I guess the method of applying. If you want to apply from your mobile phone, go for the first option, but if you want to do it from your laptop, go for the latter. Easy as that.

What is visa extension UAE processing time?

Yet another pleasant detail that the officials of the United Arab Emirates have thought about. The processing time of the extension will take you about 4-5 days at most. Moreover, you can apply from the country. If you are on vacation in UAE and suddenly realize you would like to stay there a little longer, you are ok with submitting the extension request just a few days before your visa expires.

How high are UAE visa extension fees?

uae cash

The standard UAE tourist visa extension fee is 600 UAE Dirhams or about 160 USD. It has to be paid each time you would like to extend it for 30 days. If you opt for extending your visa through an airline you are using for the flight then the UAE tourist visa extension fee might be higher.

That's it. Let's wrap this up. The United Arab Emirates is used to receiving high-profile visitors and is considered one of the richest countries in the world. It is no surprise that the immigration services are run on the same high level of service as one would expect while welcoming the richest people in the world. Fast, efficient, and simple to understand. Some companies even offer to obtain a visa through a Whatsapp message! That's how much ahead of time they are with making the procedures as user-friendly as possible.

If you have a chance to extend your stay (read - the financial means and the reason) in the United Arab Emirates, then you are among the lucky ones. And ensuring that the formalities are intact is always the best route - you wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of the law in any of the beautiful countries you visit, would you? This is why I hope that your visa extension UAE will run smoothly, and in no time, you will be safe and sure about the legitimacy of your extended visit. And besides that, good luck with your travels!

* Please keep in mind that the article reflects the standard procedures. Nowadays, due to Covid restrictions, there could be nuanced differences as the situation with the virus changes day by day. Always check with the authorities to see the latest information and to stay in the loop and know all the UAE visit visa extension new rules. Considering that changes in different services might affect peoples' abilities to return home, many countries introduce various schemes of lighter measures to be applied to the ones whose visa runs out. If that is the case with you too, check if you might be eligible for an automatic visa extension with no complicated procedures by the current regulations.

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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