Due to the current crisis surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the government has imposed strict immigration measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease and protect the population against infection.
I. COVID-19 Entry Ban
The UAE has suspended the entry of all its valid residence visa holders, who are currently out of the country, for a renewable period of two weeks effective from 12pm on Thursday, 19 March 2020. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has requested those holding valid UAE visas, and who are currently out of the country, to review the following procedures and proceed accordingly:
- those who are now staying in their countries of origin, have to contact the UAE diplomatic missions in their respective nations for all necessary support and to streamline their return back to the UAE.
- those who are currently outside the UAE for business considerations, have to contact their employers here as well as Emirati diplomatic missions in their host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return back to the UAE.
- those who are now on vacation, have to contact UAE diplomatic missions in their respective host countries for all necessary support to facilitate their return back to the UAE.
II. COVID-19 Suspension of Visas-on-Arrival and Visa-Free Entry
Immigration authorities announced a temporary suspension of visas-on-arrival and visa-free entry effective from 1am on Thursday, 19 March 2020.
III. COVID-19 Suspension of Employment Visa Processing
The UAE has suspended the processing of the following applications:
- new employment entry permit applications for foreign nationals who are outside of the UAE;
- all new residence entry permit applications for foreign nationals who are outside of the UAE;
- all new mission entry permit applications; and
- all new applications for a visit visa (for tourism, etc.).
The suspension includes all in-progress applications.
For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Arab Emirates, please contact Rebecca Ford (Partner) at Clyde & Co at Rebecca.Ford@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.
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