Overstay fines can apply to two categories of people in the UAE, those who are ‘residents’ and those who are ‘visitors’ to the UAE.
Overstay fines for UAE residents:
All residents in the UAE are provided with their residence visas for a limited period of time, such as two to three years. Once this time period is reached, the residence visa will expire, and the person is granted a thirty days’ time period to exit the country (‘grace period’), or the visa should be duly renewed. A person may also change their visa status to a visitor visa while staying inside the UAE. While overstays fines do not apply during the grace period but post the expiry of the thirty days’ grace period, an overstay fine of a fine of 125 AED will be charged for the first day and 25 AED for every day from the second day onwards. A fine of 125 AED will be charged for the first day and 25 AED for every day from the second day onwards, which is further increased as follows:
If they overstay after the grace period, they will be fined with:
- AED 125 for the first day
- AED 25 for each subsequent day.
- AED 50 per day after six months of overstaying
- AED 100 per day after one year of overstaying
Overstay fines for UAE visitors:
The overstay fine applicable for visitors who continue to stay in the UAE post the expiry of their visit visa is different than the fine applicable to overstaying residents. The fines imposed on this category is higher than those imposed on residents. A grace period is also provided to this category of visa. However, it is very limited and is for ten days alone and posts this time; fines are applicable per day. The visitor visa may be renewed or changed to a resident visa during this time period.
If a tourist or a visitor overstays beyond the grace period, he will be fined with
- AED 200 for the first day of overstay
- AED100 each consecutive day
- AED 100, as service fees.
Earlier, a visitor visa holder had to mandatorily exit the UAE in order to change the status from visit to a residence visa. However, now, with the UAE Ministerial Resolution No. 377 of 2014, holders of all types of visas can now modify the status of their entry while staying in the country if they wish to transfer it into a residency visa. This process should still be completed before the expiry of the visa in order to avoid penalties and late fees.
How can the overstay fines be paid:
You can settle your overstaying fines with the immigration’s offices at any of the entry points such as the airport, land border or seaports. Alternately, you can also pay the fine by visiting any of the Amer service centers in the UAE.
Overstay fines should be handled carefully, and one must be prudent enough to avoid the same in the first place. However, in the past year, taking into account the immense disruption and uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the UAE government had allowed for visa extensions and waiver of overstaying fines for limited-term periods. However, these were temporary measures and should not be understood as permanent waivers.