UAE - Sweeping reforms to the UAE visa system that will benefit families and visitors will be implemented from October 21, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has announced. Under the scheme, widows, divorced women and their children will be granted a one-year residency visa extension; students sponsored by their parents will get a two-year visa after Grade 12; and visit visa holders can apply for a 30-day extension for two times without having to leave the country.
Visa for divorcees, widows
The one-year visa extension for this category of beneficiaries starts from the date of the divorce or death of the spouse. They won't need a sponsor to apply for the visa, said Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general of foreigners affairs and ports, FAIC.
"The aim is to give women the opportunity to adjust to their social and economic status after the loss of the head of the family," he said.
Previously, women and their children had to leave the country after a divorce or death of their husband.
One-year visas will be given to students after Grade 12 or those who have completed their university studies. The visa is renewable for another year. Parents will need to deposit Dh5,000 to avail of the visa.
"Students should submit their attested academic certificates for high school or university and other supporting documents that show that they have studied in the UAE," said Brig Al Rashidi.
Visit visa extension
Visit visa holders will be able to apply for 30-day extensions twice without having to leave the country. A Dh600 fee is applicable for each extension. Previously, visitors had to leave the UAE after the expiry of their three-month visit visas or one-month tourist visas.
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