UAE - A new re-entry permit launched in the UAE now allows residency visa holders who stay outside the Emirates for more than six months return to the country. As reported by Khaleej Times, such residents have to specify a reason for the same.

According to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), the application must be submitted from outside the UAE.

“The customer can apply for this request after 180 days of staying outside the country. When the application is approved, the applicant must enter the country within 30 days starting from the approval date,” the authority states on the service card for the re-entry permit.

Residency is typically cancelled automatically if its holder has been outside the country for 180 days. An exception to the rule was Golden Visa holders, who can remain abroad for as long as needed without it affecting their residency status.

Subair from Dubai-based Regal Tours said he applied for the re-entry permit on Sunday night for a client. “The client was travelling with his family to Dubai when they were stopped at the Cochin airport in Kerala, India. His daughter had been outside the country for more than six months. I immediately applied for the re-entry permit.”

Anyone with a valid UAE visa who has stayed outside the country for more than 180 days can apply. Applicants have to ensure that their visa status is active and that their residency has not expired.

According to Subair, the issuance fee for the service is Dh800. Additional fees by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) are Dh150. The total fees amount to a little over Dh950.

The Dh800 issuance fee will be refunded.

There are no specific reasons mentioned. “A valid reason for staying outside the country during that period should be provided,” the ICP says on its website.

They can do so either through accredited travel agents, via the ICP website or service centres. The service is called ‘Issue permit for staying outside UAE over 6 months’ and can be found under ‘smart services’.

According to the ICP website, the permit will be delivered via email. A travel agent said the permit can also be printed out via the ICP e-channels. The applicant can reenter the country only after getting the approval.

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