Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it should be noted that in the event your family's residence visas expire prior to reopening of operation of regular flights between the UAE and India, you may have to cancel their existing residence visas and apply for new ones.
Currently, there have been no official statements or updates from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or any other authority in the UAE with regards to a grace period for stranded UAE residents (whose visas are expired) to travel back to the country.
However, in the year 2020, due to the pandemic, the ICA had granted a grace period to residents to travel back to the UAE within a specific period if their residence visas were expired.
Therefore, in case your family is not able to come back to the UAE prior to the expiry of their residence visas, it is recommended that you cancel them. To cancel the visas, you may approach the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai and submit your passport and UAE resident ID card, along with computerised extracts of your family's residence visas. The cancellation is to be done under the category which states they are outside the UAE.
Prior to the cancellation of the residence visas, you may have to approach the GDRFA to obtain a computerised extract of the residence visas for your family.
Thereafter, once regular inbound flights between the UAE and India commence, you may apply for new residence visas (entry permits) for your family. For further clarifications regarding the said matter, you may contact the GDRFA.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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