UAE travel agencies and tour operators are now filing absconding cases against tourists who overstay their visit visas, Khaleej Times has learnt. Some agents say overstayers could be 'blacklisted' and banned from entering the UAE or any GCC country if they do not exit 'more than five days' after their visas' expiry.
One circular from a travel agency that is being shared online reads: “Attention to all tourist visa holders! With immediate effect, overstay of even one day will be absconded without any notice...Extend your visa or exit the country.”
Another one states: “Final reminder for visitors staying with expired visas: The absconding ban has been started and whoever is overstaying more than 5 days will be blacklisted and will not be allowed to enter the UAE or any GCC country. Make necessary arrangements and leave the country before it's [too] late."
However, these circulars are from travel agencies and not the immigration authorities.
Explaining why absconding cases are being filed, Libin Varghese, operational director of Rooh Tourism, said: “Any visitor travelling to the UAE on a visit visa of 30 days or 60 days is under our sponsorship. We get into trouble and incur losses if the visitor overstays his visa term. We are reporting absconding for our safety."
“The fine for overstay is applied on us if a visitor overstays, and we retrieve the fine amount from the visitor,” he added.
The penalties are not the only problem the agencies are facing in case tourists overstay. Their visa application portals can also be blocked, they told Khaleej Times.
“Earlier, the overstay fines were less than the present charges. A person overstaying should also get an outpass to exit the country along with the fines, which become a huge burden on us, and we have given the option to charge them with absconding,” added Varghese.
Travel agents also said their portal would not accept applications for new visas if a visitor they sponsored overstays in the UAE.
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