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Updated April 2024

Expats planning to leave the UAE permanently are required to cancel their residence visa. There are several procedures and rules to follow when canceling your visa, and it is beneficial to fully understand and acknowledge everything before proceeding with the process.

Read on as Wego outlines the policies behind the cancellation process of UAE visas.

UAE visa cancellation 

It is pretty simple to cancel a UAE residency visa as long as the visa holders are not bound by laws that require them to stay in the country. Before submitting a visa cancellation application, they are advised to pay all their debts and utility bills, cancel tenancy contracts, and sell assets, such as houses, cars, and so on. This can help them smooth their cancellation process.

Expats cannot apply for their own visa cancellation. Only the sponsors of their visa can cancel their residence visa. However, if the expats hold an investor visa, they can submit visa cancellation requests on their own.

An employer would need to pay the pending salary, leave salary entitlements, and gratuity and provide an air ticket prior to cancellation of the work permit with the MOHRE. 

UAE visa cancellation for companies 

The UAE has introduced a streamlined process for visa cancellation for companies. If a company decides to cancel an employment visa for an employee, it must first seek approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) by submitting an application to cancel the labour contract and labour card, which requires the employee’s signature.

Subsequently, the employer must apply to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP) for visa cancellation. The company is required to cancel the work permit by submitting a letter to MoHRE, signed by the employee, confirming receipt of all dues, wages, and end-of-service benefits.

UAE visa cancellation required documents

Applicants should provide these documents to apply for visa cancellation:

  • passport and Emirates ID
  • copies of the sponsor’s passport
  • clearance statement of all financial liabilities
  • copy of entry permit
  • cancellation or assignment of the trade license upon cancellation of the residency of partner or investor
  • death certificate (within the country) in case of death
  • a death certificate outside the country certified by the official authorities

UAE visa cancellation process

Through the ICP website or app:

  • visit the ICP website or download the ICP Smart App
  • search for the service you want to apply for
  • fill in the application data
  • pay the service fee

Through the GDRFA website or app:

  • visit the GDRFA website or download the GDRFA-Dubai Smart App
  • register a new user account (in case there is no account registered)
  • select the required service
  • attach the required documents
  • pay the fees due for the service
  • submit the request

Through the AMER centres:

  • head to one of AMER service centers
  • select the required service at the receptionist
  • submit the required documents to the service employee
  • pay the fees due for the service
  • submit the application

Through the Typing centres:

  • visit the nearest Typing Center
  • get an automated ticket and wait
  • submit all the required documents to the employee
  • pay the service fee

UAE visa cancellation fee

To process the visa cancellation, applicants must pay around AED 15 (USD 4.08) – AED 60 (USD 16.34). The fees depend on which platform or service the applicants use. Kindly contact the relevant service for more detailed rates.

UAE visa cancellation processing time

The process of UAE visa cancellation may take up to 48 hours. If a document is missing, the applicants must submit it within 30 days before the application gets cancelled.

The approval of the cancellation application will be notified online. Applicants will receive an email with the official letter of their visa cancellation to their registered email address.

UAE visa cancellation status

The visa status checking will benefit expats who leave the country without adequately cancelling their visas. If the visa has been cancelled, the status will show it has been cancelled. 

To check your visa status, all you need to prepare is your passport number and expiry date. After that, you can simply follow the steps below:

  • visit the ICP website
  • click on the passport information tab 
  • choose Visa or Residency 
  • enter your passport number and the passport expiry date, then choose your nationality
  • click search
  • your visa expiration date will be displayed, including all your other visa details

Automatic cancellation of UAE visas

If the expats leave the UAE before cancelling the visa, their residency visas will automatically be cancelled. However, leaving the country without properly cancelling visas can result in travel banning in the future. The expats won’t be allowed to enter the UAE until their expired visas officially get cancelled. To do this, there is no other way rather than to pursue the former sponsors to help the expats to cancel their visas.

Nonetheless, the previous rule of getting a residence visa cancelled for staying outside the UAE for over 6 months is now no longer applicable. The UAE has now introduced a reentry permit which allows residence visa holders to stay outside the UAE for over 6 months.

Dubai & UAE reentry permit

The travel and typing centre agents in Dubai have confirmed that residency visa holders staying outside the UAE for more than 6 months can now reenter the country by applying for a reentry permit.

The reentry permit will allow UAE residents staying outside the UAE for over 6 months to reenter the Emirate within 30 days from the permit’s approval date.

Please visit our dedicated Dubai & UAE reentry permit for more information.

Dubai & UAE Reentry Permit 2024: How UAE Residents Can Reenter the UAE After 6 Months


UAE visa cancellation grace period

Expats whose visas have been cancelled should leave the country or get another visa within the grace period. The grace period given to each expat varies, depending on the category of the expat. Here are the categories of the expats as well as their grace period:

180 days:

  • golden visa holders and their family members
  • green visa holders and their family members
  • widows or divorcees
  • students who have completed their studies
  • skilled professionals (first and second level in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification).

90 days:

  • skilled professionals (third level in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification)
  • property owners

60 days:

  • normal residencies

30 days

  • the rest of the categories

Cancellation and extension of unused UAE visit visas

All international travellers to the UAE must either cancel or extend their unused visit visas.

If, for some reason, travellers cannot enter the UAE within the validity period of their visit visas, they can apply for an extension of the validity period by 60 days. This should be done through the immigration portal, costing AED 200.

If travellers who have not used their visit visa do not wish to get it extended, they will have to cancel it through the immigration portal. The immigration system has stopped automatically deleting old visa requests and now does it only upon the applicant’s request. Therefore, unless the previous, unused visit visa is cancelled, travellers cannot apply for a new UAE visit visa.

According to travel agents, the UAE visit visa cancellation can cost anywhere between AED 160 to AED 300.


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