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.