UAE Visa Change Without Exit – 2024 Guide

08th January, 2024 Updated

The UAE on December 24th, 2022, discontinued the processing of visa change without exit. From July 25th, 2023, visitors are now allowed to apply for a 90 days leisure visa without leaving the country. You now have multiple tourist visa extension options if you want to stay longer past your visa validity dates. You can also opt for express visa services to apply for the leisure visa while still in the country.


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Current Visa Change Options and Rates

30+10 days new on arrival Airport Exit

30+10 days new on arrival Airport Exit

Airport to Airport visa change

Airport to Airport visa change return flight ticket (from Dubai or Sharjah)

1050-1150 AED

Only for 30 days on arrival nationals

30 days new tourist visa

30 days new tourist visa

Airport to Airport visa change

Airport to Airport visa change return flight ticket (from Dubai or Sharjah)

1590 AED

All nationals

60 days new tourist visa

60 days new tourist visa

60 days new tourist visa

Airport to Airport visa change return flight ticket (from Dubai or Sharjah)

1790 AED

All nationals

20 days extension

20 days extension

20 days extension

Without exit

1090 AED

Only for 30 days on arrival nationals

60 days new tourist visa

90 days in country visa

60 days new tourist visa

Without exit & with changes status

Contact us for Rates

All nationals

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What is a Visa change without exit in UAE?

A visa change without exit allows you to extend your visa without necessarily leaving the UAE. The requirement for this type of change is a visa run to a neighboring country by just crossing the border and then coming back to the UAE.

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Visa Change Process

Step 1

Document Collection and Verification

Forward us all relevant travel documents through WhatsApp or email. We will look at the documents and verify the current visa expiry, your passport validity among other details.

Step 2

Payment Confirmation

You can pay for visa change at our city offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Ras Al Khaimah or to our bank account. If you use a deposit slip or online transfers, you must send us the details for verification.

Step 3

Visa Application

We will submit your visa application to get the approval. After your application is approved, your visa status in echannel/ednrd will show up as ‘Active’

Step 4

Visa Status Change

Your visa status will now change from old visa to new visa and the visa status in echannel/ednrd will show as ‘Used’

Step 5

The Status Change Approved

The change in your status visa will then be approved.

APPROVED

Step 6

Receive Visa Copy and Status Change

We will send you the approved visa copy and status change papers through email or WhatsApp.

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Step 7

Getting Confirmation of the New Visa Expiry Date

We will also send you the immigration system screenshots for the last date of the new visa, so you will be aware of its validity.

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Documents Required

Here are the documents required for different visa holders:

  • A copy of your current tourist/visit visa
  • A soft colored soft copy of your passport – in PDF or JPEG format
  • A colored photograph in PDF or JPEG format
  • The UAE resident visa page of your guarantor, if a friend, relative or company
  • A colored copy of your passport, in PDF or JPEG format
  • A colored photograph in PDF or JPEG format
  • The UAE resident visa page of your guarantor whether a friend, relative or a company
  • A copy of the Resident visa cancellation
  • A copy of the Resident visa cancellation
  • A copy of the Resident visa cancellation
  • The UAE resident visa page of your guarantor whether a relative, friend or company

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Reviews

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Tips

Visit the immigration website,e-channel/ Ednrd, to check your current visa expiry date. When you open the link, enter the relevant details into the specific fields and all the details of your visa, including the expiry date will be displayed. This is a great strategy to avoid last-minute tension and overstay fines.

You need to stay updated about the immigration overstay charges. With the tourist visa, the charges are 50 AED on the first day of overstaying and from there onwards, 50 AED per day from the second day onwards, until you exit or get a visa change. Furthermore, when you will be exiting the UAE, you will have to pay for an exit permit which would cost you around 250-300 AED. For a cancelled resident visa, too, the fine is 50 AED on the first day of cancellation, and 50 AED per day until issues with the visa are resolved. When you do a UAE visa change without exit internally, you will have to pay 150-200 AED to the ICA as an “exit pass fee.” Furthermore, if you are exiting the country after your visa has expired and there was no grace period provided with your visa, you have to pay 50 AED and an additional exit service fee.

Before you select a visa agent to assist you in visa change, it is always a great idea to check out the reviews from their previous customers. Also, please call or visit their office before making any visa payments.

Before you reach out to a visa agent, ensure you have the visa extension fee in advance as visa companies only accept upfront payments to process visa related services The UAE immigration charges you a non-refundable application fee before processing any visa related services.

When your visa status changes to new, please confirm the expiry date of this new visa. Usually, if you apply for a visa service with Arabiers, we share the screenshot taken from the immigration to use for reference.

The period taken to process a visa is entirely dependent on how busy the immigration is and when the application is submitted. Applications submitted between Fridays and Saturday and on public holidays may take longer. Understand the terms and conditions for the UAE visa before applying to get more insight about the process

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Why Opt for a Visa Change

Below is a list of scenarios that may force you to opt for the UAE visa change without exiting the country.

  1. The free on arrival visa you used to enter the UAE is almost expiring
  2. The transit visa you are using is almost expiring but you can’t travel before that time
  3. Your UAE resident visa has sadly been cancelled for one reason or another
  4. Your prepaid tourist visa is nearing its expiry and you are not done exploring the UAE
  5. You arrived to the UAE with a mission visa, now the mission is over and you wish to change to a tourist visa

If any of the above scenarios match what you are experiencing right now, please reach out to us for a UAE visa change without exit. Continue reading and see how we elaborate the scenarios and how we can help you in such a case.

01The free on arrival visa you used to enter the UAE is almost expiring and you wish to stay for longer

Before proceeding with visa change, you first have to figure out the category of on arrival visa you lie in.

30 days on-arrival Visa Holders

If you are a passport holder of any of the countries listed below, you are lucky to qualify to enter the UAE without a visa. When you land at the airport, walk to the immigration office, and you will be issued a free non-arrival visa valid for 30 days.

Andorra Australia Brunei
Canada China Hong Kong, China
Japan Kazakhstan Macau, China
Malaysia Mauritius Monaco
New Zealand Republic of Ireland San Marino
Singapore Ukraine United Kingdom and Nortdern Ireland
United States of America Vatican City

When this visa comes to an end, you are granted a 10-day grace period to leave the country or extend your visa. You can choose to either extend the on-arrival visa for another 30 days or just apply for a new 90-day tourist visa.

With the 90 days visa, you will spend a total of 140 days in the UAE cumulatively. We arrive at this total when you add the 30 initial days of the on-arrival visa, the 10-days grace period, the 90 days of the new tourist visa plus the 10 days grace period for this new visa.

90 Days On-Arrival Visa Holders

Passport holders of the countries listed below qualify for a free 90 days on-arrival visa to the UAE. The 90 days visa is a multiple entry visa and must be used within 180 days of issuing. The cumulative number of days you spend in the country should not exceed 90. That is very fair right?

Argentina Austria Austria
Barbados Belgium Brazil
Bulgaria Chile Colombia
Costa Rica Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark El Salvador
Estonia Finland France
Germany Greece Honduras
Hungary Iceland Italy
Kiribati Latvia Liechtenstein
Lithuania Luxembourg Maldives
Malta Montenegro Nauru
Netherlands Norway Paraguay
Peru Poland Portugal
Romania Russian Federation Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
San Marino Serbia Seychelles
Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands
South Korea Spain Sweden
Switzerland Uruguay

It is not possible to extend the 90 days on arrival visa, so, if you wish to stay longer in the UAE, you need to apply for a new prepaid tourist visa with or without exit.

02 The transit visa you applied for is almost expiring but you can’t travel before that time

Let’s say you are travelling to another country and have to lay over to change flights in a UAE airport. In this case, you will need to apply for either the 48 hours or the 96-hour transit via.Once your UAE transit visa is approved, you can leave the airport area and go for exploration as long as you don’t overstay the visa. If you experience a flight delay or you change your travel plans while in the UAE, you can always apply for a new transit visa without leaving the country. All you need is to submit your entry and transit visa details and your visa permit will be processed.

03Your UAE resident visa has sadly been cancelled for one reason or another

A cancelled UAE resident visa is sadly the tale for many residents who want to find new employment or to stay in the country for long after their visa expires due to certain reasons. The good news is, you can change the cancelled residence visa to a tourist visa and continue staying legally in the country as you figure out your next plans. The UAE allows its visitors to change the status of their visas while still in the country

04 Your prepaid tourist visa is nearing its expiry and you are not done exploring the UAE

Visitors from countries like South Africa, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, India, Egypt, Jordan and Sri Lanka must have a prearranged UAE visa to travel to the UAE. The visitors must apply for a visa extension if they wish to stay for more days in the UAE.

05You arrived to the UAE with a mission visa, now the mission is over and wish to change to tourist visa

If you arrived to the UAE with a mission visa, and have now completed the mission, you first have to cancel the mission visa to get a new UAE visa. To cancel this honorable visa, you first have to leave the country and then apply for a tourist visa afresh

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Current Visa Status Check & Checking Fines

Use the Federal Government System (ICA) website to confirm the status Click the ‘passport information and visa’ tab to view your visa details of you have the prepaid, on arrival or the transit visa. Click the ‘passport information and residency’ tab to see the details of your cancelled resident visa. The penalty charges for a cancelled resident visa is 50 AED per day and for overstayed visas, the fine is 50 AED per day.

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Comparing Visa Change Options

Other visa change options that you can use to extend your UAE visa include:

  1. Airport to airport visa change
  2. Oman visa run
  3. Visa change by bus
  4. Going on a holiday and coming back
  5. Going to home country and coming back

01Airport to airport visa change

Some travelers prefer to use Airport-to-Airport transfer to extend their visa. Below is how the airport-to-airport transfer works;

  1. The applicant flys out to an airport in the nearby Gulf country like Oman
  2. Chill at the airport for about an hour
  3. Get a UAE express visa
  4. Lastly, fly back to the UAE with the new visa.

02Oman visa run

This visa extension option is perfect for those who qualify for an on-arrival Oman visa.

Check how the Oman visa run works:

  1. First, drive to an Oman border
  2. Cross over to Oman
  3. apply for a new UAE visa
  4. Drive back to the UAE

Those who entered the UAE with the 30 days on arrival visa qualify for another free 30 days visa to the UAE using this extension option. Prepaid visa holders and those with a 90 days on-arrival visa must get a new prepaid visa when they use this visa change option.

03 Visa change by bus

This visa extension method was popular with the Indian and Philippine nationals before the COVID period.

Here is how basically it works;

  1. First, arrange for an Oman visa 1 to 2 working days before your travel dates
  2. Board a bus to the Hatta border
  3. Enter Oman and wait until your new UAE visa is ready
  4. Travel back to the UAE.

This visa change method is similar to an Oman visa run, only difference is that in this case, it is your tour operator who organizes the trip for you.

04 Going on holiday and coming back

If lucky enough, you may find a holiday package that is way cheaper than changing visa without exiting the country. Consider such an opportunity, go for holiday and then apply for a new UAE visa while vacationing.

If you are eligible for an on-arrival visa, you may re-enter seamlessly without having to pay for visa extension fees.

05 Going to home country and coming back

Remember you had a return ticket when you entered the UAE? Well, you can as well decide to use it and go back to your home country and then re-apply for a new visa from there.

However, depending on the distance to your home country, you may find a round trip ticket plus the new visa fees to be more expensive than extending your visa without exiting the UAE. In this case, you should choose the option that suits you the most and one that makes sense financially.

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Fines Calculating During Visa Change Without Exit

You may carry out visa extension without leaving the country either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi immigration offices, depending on where it is more convenient for you. The procedure used in to change visas may be different from Emirate to Emirate. If you have to pay your overstaying visa fine, both Emirates have separate fee structure.

Fine collection In Abu Dhabi

Here, you also have to pay the ICA fees, electronic payment fees, and e-services fees.

Example Scenario

AOverstaying on a prepaid/on arrival visa, breakdown of the total fine needed to pay:


The formula is: Overstaying Fines (days of overstaying x 50 AED) + ICA fee total (150 AED). To put it into context, if you overstay your visa for 10 days, your total fine will be 10 x50 +150 =650 AED. You must pay the total fee accumulated before your new application is processed.



BOverstaying after your grace period after residence cancellation


The formula: Overstaying Fines (days of over staying x 50 AED) + ICA fee total (150 AED minimum) Now let’s contextualize this, if you overstay your cancelled visa for 10 days, your total fine will be, 10 x 50 + 150 = 650 AED (minimum) You must clear this amount before your new application is processed.

Fine Collection in Dubai

Here, no additional fees are collected, so you will only pay the overstaying visa fine

When you overstay on a prepaid or on-arrival visa, you will be charged 100 AED per day and 25 AED per day for overstaying a residence visa. You must settle the visa fines before your new application is processed.

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FAQs

Yes, you must purchase a travel insurance valid in the UAE when applying for a visa change.
Yes. You can extend the 30 days tourist visa without exiting the UAE.
No! You are not granted any grace period if you entered the UAE with the 60 days visit visa.
You can contact us and we will assist you to extend your UAE visa without leaving the country.
You may leave the UAE without cancelling your visa, but then if you want to come back you will experience some issues. Please follow the right UAE visa cancellation channels and settle all your liabilities before leaving the country.
At Arabiers, we have put together a guide about the options to extend your UAE tourist visa. You can either choose the Oman visa run, airport to airport transfer or go back to your home country and then re-enter UAE.
The UAE lifted all the COVID restrictions and requirements so you don’t have to be vaccinated against COVID or take a PCR test to apply for a visa extension.
GCC residents must apply for a prepaid visa before travelling to Dubai. However, if you are a passport holder of a country that qualifies for the UAE on arrival visa, you may then travel to the UAE and get a free on arrival visa.

GCC residents can extend their UAE visa without having to leave the country.

No! US citizens qualify for an on-arrival visa to Oman. this means that a US citizen in the UAE can extend their visa through an Oman visa run or the airport-to-airport transfer option using an airport in Oman.
Absolutely! US citizens are eligible for the 30 days free on arrival visa to the UAE. They have several options to extend their visa, including visa change without exiting the country.