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Renewing the employment residence visa sponsored by an employer is extremely important to compliantly work in the UAE. The duration of the visa could either 1, 2, or 3 years, depends on the sponsoring entity’s jurisdiction and business requirement. In order to be complaint for living and working in the UAE, businesses need to ensure that the employee’s work permit and Emirates ID card are renewed in a timely manner prior to the date of expiry. Currently, there is no limitation on the number of renewals that can be requested for an individual as long as the age requirements are satisfied.


What are some of the requirements for lodgment of the residence permit renewal application?


·      Original passport of the employee with a validity of more than six months at the time of application submission and two blank pages

·      Employee to hold a valid health insurance policy

·      Employee is inside UAE at the time of filing the renewal application

·      Company portal are functional, and no sanctions have been placed

·      Sponsoring Employer to hold a valid Trade License and Establishment card


What are the basic steps involved in the residence permit renewal procedure?


1.        Documents gathering and application for the residence permit renewal: The required documents are collected from the employee for lodgment of the residence permit renewal application.


2.        Emirates ID card renewal:

Along with the residence visa, the application for the renewal of the Emirates ID card is filed through the Emirates ID authority. Generally, biometric examination is not required during the renewal process, however in certain instances the individual may need to attend the Emirates ID center, if requested by the authorities.


3.        Medical Examination:

All Foreign nationals above the age of 18 are mandatorily required to clear the medical examination prior to being eligible for renewal of their work permit.  The medical test would be conducted at the authorized medical center and the results would be available within 1-3 working days.


4.        Employment contract:

During the time of renewal, the employment contract is generated through the authorities’ online portal, which needs to be signed by the employee and the employer. The foreign national must ensure that his job title in the employment contract matches with his current responsibilities and can amend to the nearest title available in the system. Depending on the job title, the individual might need to present a legalized education certificate to the authorities.


5.        Approval and endorsement of the residence visa:

On obtaining a clear medical result, the residence permit renewal application would be approved by the Immigration authorities in 2-3 working days following which the renewed residence permit would be endorsed onto the passport. The employee can resume business travels as soon as the passport is released by the authorities.


6.        Receiving renewed Emirates ID card:

The renewed Emirates ID card would be processed once the residence visa has been approved by the Immigration authorities. The card would be printed in within 3-5 working of the endorsement of the visa onto the passport and would be dispatched to the company’s registered post box for collection.


Can the residence visa be renewed earlier than the expiry date? If yes, how early?


The residence permit needs to be renewed at least 30 days prior or closer to the expiry of the visa, taking into consideration the business and travel requirements of the employee. The visa can be renewed up to 180 days before the expiry date based on the discretion of the immigration authority.


Can the UAE residence visa be renewed out of the country?


The employee needs to be inside the country during the processing of the residence permit renewal application as original passport needs to be submitted to the Immigration authorities. The passport would be released only once the renewed visa in endorsed onto the passport.  Hence, the employee should carefully plan any business or personal travels in advance to avoid being denied entry if the visa expires while being out of the country.


What can delay renewal of employment residence visa?

For renewing the residence permit of the employees, the employer or the sponsoring entity needs to ensure that the corporate documents are valid and active, health insurance card is renewed for the employee, and there are no sanctions placed by the respective authorities. Additional causes of delay in the renewal process could be due to the requirement for some individuals to undergo further medical screening or unavailability of the employee inside the country during the renewal process due to business travels.


What is the grace period for visa renewal after the expiry and what is fine for late renewal?

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) provides a grace period of 30 days to officially file the renewal of the residence visa with the authorities.  Failure to renew within the stipulated 30-day grace period would result is incurring daily overstay fine of AED 25 per day for up to 180 days and other legal implications. The overstay fine would increase to AED 50 per day during the second 6 months and it would be AED 100 per day after passing a year post the expiry of the residence visa.


When do I renew the dependent visas?


 It is not necessary for the dependent visa to have the same expiry dates as that of the sponsoring employee, as the visas are not directly linked to the expiry date but sponsor’s visa duration. At the same time it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure timely renewal of family visa prior to the expiry date. The GDRFA has granted a 30-day grace period post expiry date for renewal of the dependent residence visa.


Read blog: 

How to renew dependent residence visa in UAE


How can BM Strategies assist?

Given the dynamic nature of the immigration environment, we at BM Strategies guide our clients on the best and most efficient options in developing, implementing, and managing compliant UAE immigration and PRO service programs. Please reach out to us for more information on


Our services include:

Employment Residence Visas

Dependent Residence Visas

Emirates Id Cards

Corporate Documents Procurement/Renewal

Expiry Tracking and Renewal

De-registrations and Amendments

GCC Pension Registry Management

Document Procurement and Attestation Services

PRO Services

Benchmarking and Consultations

Compliance Management

Strategic Planning and Support


Note: The information provided here are only for the purpose of providing an overview regarding the dependent visa renewal and processes. The immigration regulations are subject to change from time to time from one jurisdiction to another. Hence the information provided hereby should not be considered an opinion or advice from BM Strategies but only a practical guide for general information.

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Posted on 25-Dec-2020.

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