x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Tourist visa renewal laws clarified

Citizens of 33 countries are exempt from a rule over tourist visa renewals at border checkpoints, immigration officials said yesterday.

DUBAI // Citizens of 33 countries are exempt from a rule over tourist visa renewals at border checkpoints, immigration officials said yesterday.

They were attempting to clear up confusion that persists two years after the regulation's introduction. People whose passports are not on the list must wait at least one month before returning to the Emirates after exiting, said Brig Obaid bin Suroor, the deputy director of the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners' Affairs.

The law regulating re-entry on temporary visas was introduced in 2008 to curb abuses to the system. But many people are still unaware of the changes.

"Lots of people get stuck over the border for one month," said Lancy D'Souza, the manager of Uranus Travel, a firm that operates trips to the neighbouring island of Kish, a favourite destination for visa runs. "They leave the country and then find that they can't come back."

Questions regarding visa issues can be directed to the residency and foreigners' affairs hotline on 800 5111.

The list of exempt countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US, and the Vatican.

mcroucher@thenational.ae