UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Some Indian nationals may no longer change status in-country

The new policy only applies to Indian nationals who are U.S. permanent residents and entered the UAE on that basis.

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Immigration authorities in all Dubai free zones and the mainland are adopting a restrictive policy toward certain Indian nationals seeking to change status in-country. 

What does the change mean? Changes of status to employment and residence permits will not be approved in-country for Indian nationals who entered the UAE on a 14-day visa-on-arrival on the basis of being a U.S. green card holder; they must leave the UAE and apply for a change of status abroad or return on a tourist visa and apply in-country for a change of status. 

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment and residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals who entered the UAE on a visa-on-arrival based on holding U.S. permanent residency.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected travelers will face additional travel and processing.  
  • Business impact: The additional time and expense may affect business schedules and budgets.
  • Next steps: Employers and affected Indian nationals planning to apply for a change of status in the UAE should consider applying for a visitor visa rather than entering as a U.S. permanent resident.

BAL Analysis: The new policy only applies to Indian nationals who are U.S. permanent residents and entered the UAE on that basis. Indian nationals who entered the UAE on a visitor visa obtained at a consulate or who have a canceled or expired visa may continue to apply for a change of status in-country.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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