UAE Suspends ‘Emergency’ Residence Permits for Sudanese Refugees

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Inside United Arabs Emirates

  • The UAE has suspended ’emergency’ residence permits for Sudanese refugees, prompting cancellations to avoid fines. Travel agencies now require a deposit for unused visas, aiming to prevent penalties. Dubai recently resumed accepting applications after temporarily halting issuance.

The United Arab Emirates’ Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICP) has announced the suspension of ’emergency’ residence permits for Sudanese refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict. Previously, these permits provided residence to Sudanese nationals holding any type of visit permit. Those with cancelled permits are permitted to reapply within a month without facing fines.

According to a travel agency specializing in UAE visas, many Sudanese nationals with expired permits chose to cancel them to avoid penalties for illegal residency, as renewal processes often entail significant delays.

In response, travel agencies have informed clients holding unused entry visas to deposit a 2,500 Dirham guarantee. Failure to comply will result in visa cancellation 48 hours before scheduled entry. This measure aims to prevent fines for delayed entry or exclusion from the e-visa system.

Initially offered by five of the seven UAE emirates—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain—the ’emergency’ residence permits were extended to Sudanese refugees for an annual fee of 1,200 Dirhams following the outbreak of war on April 15, 2024.

Applicants were required to hold Sudanese citizenship and a passport valid for six months, with the permit initially valid for one year and renewable for an additional 12 months with a guarantor or host.

Recently, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman ceased issuing these permits, with Abu Dhabi and Al Ain continuing to accept applications despite a high rejection rate of around 90%. However, following the recent suspension decision, Dubai has resumed accepting applications from Sudanese nationals, pending approval.

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