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The UAE Cabinet has approved a decision to amend a number of Resolutions relating to identity and citizenship and resumption of work that were adopted when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Cabinet Resolution came into effect from July 11.

Of them, most important is the decision to grant three months to Emiratis, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens, and residents inside the country for renewal of their visas and IDs. Those outside the country now will be given one month from the date of their arrival in the country (residents should have spent less than six months outside the country) to renew their documents.

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Residents who are outside the country and whose residency expired after March 1, 2020, or who exceeded six months outside the country will be granted a period to return to the country from the date of opening of airspace between the two countries; the time frame will be determined by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). The Cabinet has endorsed that administrative fees or fines must be collected after the deadline expires for the said categories.

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The decision extending validity of residency visas for expatriates, who are in or outside the country and if their visas expired between March 1 and 31, 2020, is cancelled now. The decision on the validity of visas and entry permits for those inside the country from March 1, 2020, until end of December this year also stands cancelled. Identity cards that expired on March 1, 2020, which were considered valid until end of December 2020, will also be cancelled.

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The Cabinet instructed the ICA to start collecting fees for providing services from July 12. It asked that the current services be provided through electronic systems as far as possible to facilitate and limit the crowding of customers.