New rules will apply to visas for visitors, students, widows and divorcees from Sunday…

From October 21, the UAE will begin implementing several new visa rules, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has confirmed.

The new visas were announced earlier this year and affect students, visitors, widows and divorcees.

As part of the new rules, the ICA are relaxing existing legislation for those visiting the country. New visit visas will be issued without individuals needing to leave the country, “regardless of the main duration of the original visa”, an ICA statement said according to Gulf Business.

Individuals will then be eligible for a 60-day extension (30-day extension twice) for a fee of Dhs600  per extension.

It’s worth noting that the decision “does not include entry permits for those residing in [other] GCC countries and the companions of the citizens of GCC countries,” the ICA statement read.

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Meanwhile, when students sponsored by their parents complete their university or high school (or reach the age of 18), they will be eligible to renew their residency visa for one year. It will further be renewable for another 12 months upon expiry of the first year. It’s hoped that this will allow students the opportunity to find work in the area.

Other changes mean that divorced or widowed women on a dependent visa will be eligible to stay in the country for one year without a sponsor, starting from the date of the death of the husband or the date of the divorce. It will come at the price of Dhs100 for the cancellation fee of the previous residency visa, and a year’s residency visa fees will be collected from the women and children.

Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general of the Foreigners Affairs and Ports Department at the ICS advised that there will be regulations to adhere to.

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Widows or divorced woman and their children must have had their residency visas sponsored by the deceased or former husband at the time of death or divorce, and residency visas must be valid at the time of death or divorce. A child’s residency period must not exceed that of the mother.

Brigadier Al Rashidi stressed that each woman must be able to support the family. “The woman has to prove that she has been divorced or widowed and that she has a residence and has the ability to support the family financially,” he said.

Applications can be submitted online and at Tas’heel offices and residency departments across the country.

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