DUBAI: Staying outside the UAE for more than six months will automatically result in residence visa turning invalid, according to the Amer immigration helpline in Dubai.
A representative at the official helpline was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times that the rule change applies to all residence visa holders, irrespective of their situation.
For instance, even if a woman has gone home for delivery, and stays outside the UAE for more than six months, her visa will become invalid automatically, the report said.
However, only few specific categories have been exempted from the rule. “(In case visa holders stay outside the country for more than six months) they have to first cancel the residence visa and apply for a new one, as per a new procedure,” the representative reportedly said.
S. Reddy, an Indian expatriate, reportedly said that he checked with the Dubai immigration helpline and they confirmed the rule change.
“The new procedure is not good because most of the expatriate families shuttle between two countries. Sometimes children are studying in different countries, and mothers are at times required to stay outside the country for longer periods. So the new rule can create problems,” he was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, the change in procedure has been brought about “without any prior notice”.
“If we were given sufficient time, we could have organized our family travel plans to suit visa requirements,” he added, urging the authorities to restore the old policy.
Similarly, Sherif Al Wakeel, an Egyptian expatriate was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times that the new rule will make things difficult for him, as his wife is expected to deliver next month. “She has been outside the country for almost six months now and can’t make it back to the UAE in time,” he added.