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A six-month stay outside the country does not automatically cancel residency visas in some select situations, says the Ministry of Interior.
Although a residency visa is automatically nullified if its holder stays outside the UAE for six months, some travel excursions longer than six months are exempt such as expatriates going abroad for medical treatment, foreign wives of UAE citizens staying abroad and domestic helpers who are accompanying Emiratis studying abroad or seeking medical attention, a Ministry of Interior official said.
“In most cases, if a residency visa holder stays abroad for more than six months, he or she will have to issue a new entry permit as that visa will be invalidated,” Brigadier Dr Rashid Sultan Al Khader, Deputy Chairperson of the Legal Council at the Ministry, told Gulf News.
“However, the rule doesn’t apply in some cases and the exempted categories will have a valid visa up to their expiry date,” he said. “As per Article 61, exempted individuals include foreign wives of UAE nationals, domestic workers accompanying local students who are studying or undergoing medical treatment abroad, and expatriates seeking medical treatment outside the country along with those in their company.”
However, Dr Khader said individuals must have a valid residency visa as well as a medical report attested by the Ministry of Health.
Dr Khader said other categories exempted from the six-month rule are employees and domestic helpers accompanying the employees of diplomatic and consular missions in the UAE.
“Those who are employed in the UAE public sector and are overseas for work or sent abroad on training courses are also exempted, along with their families, from the six-month rule,” Dr Khader said.
However, expatriates going abroad, male and female, for studies are not spared from the six-month rule. Before the recent amendments, there was a relaxed approach for female students returning from their studies. Some residents are now dismayed that they have to go through the entire process of issuing an entry permit for female family members studying abroad.
Courtesy : Gulf News