UAE - Visitors or tourists whose visit visas expired after March 1 may have to shell out overstay fines, starting September 11.
An Amer call centre agent said the penalty for overstay is Dh200 for the first day. "The exact fine amount will be calculated by the immigration authorities at the airports. The fines are Dh200 for the first day of overstay, Dh100 each consecutive day, and Dh100 as service fees," said the agent.
However, whether the calculation of overstay fines is from September 11 or from the exact date when the visitor's visa expired is yet to be ascertained. "Only immigration authorities will be able to tell how the amount will be calculated, based on visa information," said the agent.
'No extension announced'
"We have not received any intimations about an extension of visa validity," another agent added.
The UAE's Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) in August announced a one-month extension for visitors whose entry permits expired after March 1. The extension began on August 11 and ended on September 11.
"The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship extends the grace period for holders of expiring entry permits, starting from August 11 for a period of one month, with the aim of enabling them to leave the country with exemption from all fines during this period," the ICA announced earlier in a tweet.
Visit visa holders were urged to 'change status' or 'leave'
On July 10, the UAE had announced that "holders of visit or tourist visas that expired after March 1 must leave the UAE within one month from July 11. That is by August 11".
The UAE Cabinet had issued a decision that cancelled all previously issued resolutions related to the residency of expatriates and validity of visas, entry permits and ID cards. The automatic extension of expired visas and IDs until December this year was withdrawn.
'No rush at travel agencies'
A majority of those staying on visit visa have already availed of extensions, said Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels. "We had no last-minute applicants. Earlier, between August 8 and 9, the agency saw 5,000 to 6,000 new applications. This month, we had about 595 applications. I'm not sure if those who did not extend have left the country," he said.
Harish Kumar, managing director of Jubilant Group, added: "Unlike last time, we didn't have a lot of last-minute applications. A large segment of our customers are Indians. They have all changed their status and many have also applied for the one-month extensions. We have seen a few last-minute applications from members of the Nigerian community."
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