11 exceptions allow UAE residents to stay outside the country for over 6 months without cancelling residency visa
The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) has updated the list of exceptions for resident’s stay outside the UAE for more than 6 months without canceling the residency visa. It has added 5 new exceptions in addition to the already existed 6 exceptions, bringing the total exceptions to 11.
The general rule is that if an expatriate resident stays outside the UAE for more than 180 days continuously, his/her residence visa will be nullified automatically.
If this happens, he/she will have to apply for a new entry permit to enter the UAE again.
The exceptions, which allow an expatriate resident to stay outside the UAE for more than six months and at the same time maintains the validity of his/her residence visa, include a foreigner wife of an Emirati citizen, domestic helpers accompanying Emiratis having a scholarship for study abroad, domestic helpers accompanying UAE patients travelling or sent abroad for treatment, and expatriate residents and their companions sent abroad for treatment, provided they submit a medical report approved by medical authorities in the UAE.
Also this applies to domestic helpers accompanying members of diplomatic and consular missions representing the UAE abroad and employees of such missions holding residence visas in the UAE, expatriate residents working for the public sector sent by their employers to attend training or specialist courses, or those working in their employers' offices abroad and their families who are holders of valid residence visas in the UAE, expatriate students studying in universities or institutes abroad (as per Dubai rules).
In addition, domestic helpers of members of the ruling families working in the homes of the royal family abroad and are holders of valid residence visas in the UAE, students enrolled in educational institutions abroad, who are holders of valid residence visas in the UAE, investors holding valid residence visas in the UAE, and residents sponsored by UAE diplomatic and consular representatives and their dependents can stay outside the UAE for six months and at the same time maintains the validity of his/her residence visa.
The last exception is for any other person excluded under a decision from ICP, provided that person has a valid residence visa and pay the due fees.