Dubai closure of immigration offices
The latest COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in relation to employment and residence visas.
Effective 26 March 2020, the Dubai government temporarily closed all government departments, including those relating to visa processing and issuance. This includes the main immigration offices, and medical and Emirates ID center. This has resulted in a suspension of medical and Emirates ID appointments and a suspension of the endorsement of UAE residence visas on passports for in-country visa applications. Similar measures are being implemented across the UAE’s other emirates.
The announcement was made without prior warning, and the government has said that it expect all government departments to implement a full remote work system from 29 March. Clarifications on how the authorities will handle visa processes are expected then.
Amer centers have also been instructed to close temporarily for two weeks until 9 April.
All types of visa applications
To curb the proliferation of COVID-19, the UAE has put into place a series of restrictive measures. These have often come without prior warning, and without alternative arrangements for how government departments can continue prepared.
For any residence visas approved, urgent visa stamping is discretionary and available at the immigration department at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Until the immigration authorities issue clarifications, all visa processes should be deemed to be on hold. From next week, the authorities are expected to announce how it will continue function.
It is expected that there will be an increased reliance on certain online systems
that the UAE immigration authorities had been trailing in beta mode, but which
had not been fully set up. There may also be a series of temporary
measures, including approving visas in-principle, with medicals, biometrics and
visa stamping to follow at a later date.
These changes may also expedite future changes that had been planned, including replacing the endorsement of residence visas with the Emirates ID.