For those who are planning or have already worked in the UAE, you would know that one of the basic documents that you need to obtain is a residence visa. This document is also issued to a family member or dependent, which a UAE resident (expat) must sponsor or apply for. This type of visa is valid for two to three years, and is renewable for as long as the sponsor is able to work in the country.
However, for those who have no intentions of working or staying in the country any longer, they will be required to officially cancel their residence visa. In practice, this is usually done by the resident’s employer or sponsor, but if you’re going through this process anyway, it’s also a good thing to understand how the process is being carried out.
An Expat’s Guide to Residence Visa Cancellation in UAE
In this post we will share some tips and the basic guidelines on what you need to provide or do to facilitate the cancellation of your residence visa. Here’s how:
As mentioned, the employer or the sponsor typically handles this process. They start by filing cancellation papers for the worker’s labour contract and labour card at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). For this process, the employee will be asked to sign the application documents.
Also, the employee or sponsor will also file for the cancellation of the employee’s work permit. This basically involves submitting a letter indicating that the employee has been given all his/her wages and end-of-service (gratuity) pay. Similarly, this will require the employee’s signature for confirmation.
The employer will then have to proceed to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which will process the visa cancellation of the foreign resident. Ideally, this procedure should be carried out by the same GDRFA office that stamped the residence visa at the start.
Meanwhile, for those with dependents – a sponsored parent, spouse, or children – they will need to first cancel their dependents’ visa/s before cancelling their own.
- Cancellation form signed by the sponsor
- Original passport of the sponsored applicant
- Original identity card of the sponsored applicant
Note: If the sponsor is a company, the form should be signed and sealed bearing the company stamp. Also, the clearance certificate of the company issued by MoHRE should be attached, as well.
If the sponsored person is currently based outside of the UAE, the sponsor may present the original passport or a computerized extract of the applicant’s residence visa, which may be requested from the Naturalisation and Residency Department.
1st Method: Amer Centres – The sponsor goes to any Amer Centre in the city, which will file the cancellation form and process it online through the respective GDFRA.
2nd Method: Online – The sponsor can directly file the visa cancellation online via the respective GDFRA or Ministry of Interior platform. For example, those based in Dubai can file their application through the GDFRA Dubai website.
Duration and Cancellation Charges
Once all the necessary documents are provided, the process could be completed for up to a day or less. The fee for residence visa cancellation is AED 110.
After your residence visa has been officially cancelled, you will be given a 30-day grace period to exit the country or reapply for another residence visa (in case you change your mind). During this process, do note that your Emirates Identity Card will also be cancelled and should be surrendered to respective authorities.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article was published for the purpose of information-sharing only. To know more about the latest updates, procedures, and fees in cancelling residence visas, you may visit the official website of the Ministry of Interior or GDRFA Dubai.