Penalties for Overstay in UAE

25 Apr 2022

The UAE is an ideal multicultural country that welcomes tourists, professionals, businessmen, etc. from across the world. And the country has a well-regulated visa system to ensure that all its residents and visitors are legally allowed to reside within the country.  The sole demand for them is to remain among the compass of the law of the land. People who overstay their visa period, ought to pay fines for such overstay within the UAE. And such overstay fines are enforced by the immigration officers in the UAE.

There are two categories of people in the UAE to which overstay fines are applied. One is the ‘residents’ in the UAE, who are on a long-term residence visa and the other is ‘visitors’ to the UAE on a short-term tourist visa. And such people need to remember the date when their visa expires. And to avoid penalties, it is important to apply for a renewal or modification of a visa before the expiry. 


Overstay fines for UAE visitors

Visit or tourist visas are normally for a short-term period. Visit or tourist visas to the UAE are issued for a period of 30 or 90 days for the single or multiple entry categories. The fine applicable to the overstay of visitors is different from the fine for the overstay of residents in the UAE. The fine imposed on the overstay of the visitors is higher than those imposed on residents. However, the UAE government has provided a 10-day grace period to the visit visa holders from the date on visa ends. 

If a visitor overstays beyond the grace period, he or she is liable to pay a fine amount of AED 200 for the first day of overstay and AED 100 each for subsequent days along with AED 100 as a service charge. Earlier in UAE, a visitor or a tourist visa holder had to compulsorily exit the country to change the status from a visit visa to a residence visa. However, with the UAE Ministerial Resolution Number 377 of 2014, holders of all types of visas can modify their visa status without exiting the country. But to avoid penalties such visa holders should seek assistance from legal experts on immigration law to complete the process before the expiry of the visa. 


Overstay fine for UAE residents

Those who want to stay in UAE for a long-term period that is for two to three years are provided with residence visas. Once this valid residence visa got expired, the person is granted a 30 days grace period to exit the country without any penalty, or the visa should be duly renewed. Overstay fines will not apply during the grace period. However, if you are leaving the country the very next day after the completion of a grace period, you are required to pay AED 125 as a fine. And for every subsequent day, AED 25 will be charged up to the next six months. After six months, the penalty will be AED 50 for each day. And if you overstayed for a year then AED 100 per day will be charged as a penalty.


Payment of overstay fine

Overstay fines can be paid in the immigration offices at airports, land borders, or seaports within the country. And also, one can pay the fine by visiting the Amer service center within the UAE. The UAE government had announced some relaxation in the overstay policies during the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE government has waived the overstay fines and allowed visa extensions. However, these relaxations were for a temporary period and should not be understood as permanent waivers. 


Modifying visa status

The Ministerial Resolution Number 377 of 2014 states that holders of all kinds of visas can modify the status of their entry while staying within the country if they need to transfer it into a residency visa. Compliance with certain requirements and conditions have to be met for successfully modifying visa status into a residency visa. And also need to pay AED 550 as a fee instead of leave. However, to avoid any penalties, the applicant should do that before the termination of his current visa.