If your visa expired before March 1, you have until the end of the year to change your status…

Casting our minds back to the beginning of the year brings back memories of cancelled plans, move permits and Zoom quizzes. Back in March when it was pretty much impossible to leave the country, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced that all visas and Emirates IDs that expired after March 1 would be automatically extended until December 31.

Following this announcement, a few months later it was revoked, with a new deadline of July 12, which was then extended again. Now once again, the deadline has been extended, giving holders of expired visas until December 31 to leave the country, or risk overstay fines.

It’s not clear whether this will be the final extension.

Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director General of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), said in a statement: “The period of extension for overstay violators has been extended until the end of December 31, 2020. The extension is for people who violated the entry and foreigners’ residence law before March 1, 2020. They will be exempted from all fines provided they leave the country before the deadline.”

If you have a visa which expired before March 1 and still haven’t left the country, you will be able to do so before the end of the year without facing any fines. This includes people on a visit, tourist or residence visas who haven’t changed their visa status yet.

If you’re thinking of leaving the country, but not sure where you can travel to, check out our list of quarantine-free destinations for UAE residents.