The word ‘overstay’ means staying in a nation for more than the prescribed period predefined on the visa. It is usually advised not to overstay your visa as it could attract hefty penalties and fines in the UAE.
For UAE residents:
Any person on a residence visa shall be fined 125 AED and then 25 AED for each passing day. The 25 AED fine increases to 50 AED each day after a year of overstaying.
A 30 days grace period is granted after the expiry of the residence visa before which one has to apply and get a new residence visa or change his/her visa status or leave the nation.
Any person on a visitor’s visa whether it is a visa on arrival or pre-paid visa shall be fined 200 AED for the first day and then 100 AED for each passing day.
Additionally, a service charge of 100 AED is levied on the person when he/she leaves the country.
A. 30 days on arrival:
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs has provided a list of nations whose passport holders are eligible for a 30-day on arrival visa along with a grace period of 10 days before the overstay fines are levied. It can be renewed once from the immigration office without the need of leaving the country.
B. 90 days on arrival:
A multiple entry 90 days visa on arrival is issued to passport holders of selected countries provided by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs before the overstay fines are levied. The European Nations mentioned under the list are barred from any grace period.
The validity of this visa is for six months from the date of the issue during which the visa holder is entitled to stay for a total of 90 days.
C. Prepaid visa holders:
Any passport holder from Asia, Africa, or any developing country is required to apply for a single entry or a multiple entry visa before entering the UAE.
All multiple entry visa holders (whether 30 days or 90 days) are not granted a grace period and hence the overstay fines are levied upon expiry of the visa.
All single entry visa holders (whether 30 days or 90 days) are granted a grace period of 10 days before the overstay fines are levied.
D. Indian passport holders with USA Visa, USA green card holders, EU Residency visa, and UK Residency visa:
A Visa on arrival for a period of 14 days is granted provided that a 100 AED fee is paid for the same.
This visa comes with a grace period of 10 days and can be renewed once for a period of 14 days. The fee to renew the same is 250 plus 20 AED levied as a service charge.
E. Mexican passport 180 days on arrival:
Mexican citizens are granted a 180-day multiple entry visa on arrival valid for a period of six months from the date of issuance. No grace period is provided on such a visa.
F. Brazil 90 days on arrival:
All Brazilian passport holders are granted a 90-day multiple entry visa on arrival with a validity of one year. No grace period of 10 days is provided on such a visa.
How can one avoid overstay fines
1. Planning your trip in advance:
The first and foremost way to avoid paying any overstay fines is to plan a trip in advance and leave the nation at least two days before the grace period ends/visa expires in case of no grace period provided as unexpected issues like delays in flight can become quite troublesome.
2. Filing an application to reduce overstay fine:
If the overstay fine is compounded to quite some amount over time, then one can visit the nearest immigration office/ Amer centre and file an application for waiver/reduction in overstay fines.
Overstay fines are sometimes completely waived on account of global issues and medical reasons.
3. Change your visa status:
A request for a change in the visa status can be made at the nearest immigration office. As per Ministerial Resolution No. 377 of 2014, visa holders of all types can now change their visa status to residence visa provided that the obligations and requirements mentioned under the ministerial resolution are met.
Paying to overstay fines
1. While leaving UAE:
Overstay fines in the UAE can be settled at the land border/port of any Emirate. It can also be settled at any international airport while leaving the nation.
2. Before leaving UAE:
Immigration offices under the Ministry of the interior, MOI can aid one in settling overstay fines. Amer offices can also be contacted for the same to make the process of leaving the country completely hassle-free.
Opinion of Experts -
The list of countries eligible for a visa on arrival under any category is subject to change upon the discretion of the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Port Security and General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai. Hence it is highly recommended to seek advice from the best advocates in the UAE who can provide one with adequate guidance. This would ensure that all the legalities are duly completed which could save one from paying hefty fines and penalties.
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