Monday, September 14, 2009

Run for Your Visa

One of new aspects of my life as an expatriate is a concern on visa. I think I am better off dealing with UAE visa laws compare to Saudi Arabia visa laws. I heard in Saudi Arabia, one not only need visa to come to Saudi but expatriate also need visa to get out from Saudi Arabia. I don't know whether this is true but if it is, that is really a headache.

In UAE, visa is issued for various categories of visit and stay. There are visit visa, tourist visa, multiple entry visa, residence visa and transit visa. Apart from visa, tourists and expatriates require sponsors who will apply visa on their behalf. Like in my case, my sponsor for residence visa is my employer. But Malaysians tourist are lucky because our government has a reciprocal agreement with UAE whereby Malaysian tourist will be entitled to 30 days free visa on arrival in UAE. So for Malaysians, they don't have to find local sponsor to apply for their visit visa in UAE.

A common culture for expatriates in Dubai is during school holidays, many expatriates bring in their wives, children and families to come over for long vacation in Dubai. I am one of them. My wife and son are staying in Dubai for a 4 months vacation. For a stay more than 30 days I am supposed to apply for a special long visit visa for my wife and son which costs around AED500 each.

However there is a cheaper way to do it. Instead of applying for that long visit visa, peoples here go for a visa run. Literally it means running to the border, get out from the country and come back in with a new visit visa. This privilege is only accorded to a handful of countries lke UK, USA, Singapore and Malaysia. It sounds easy? But I have to do it every 40 days. And that is boring..

Desert tree

So here are the steps for a visa run in Dubai, UAE:

1) Drive to the border. Don't forget to bring passport. There are 3 popular borders from Dubai ie, Hatta, Musandam and Al Ain. These are UAE borders with Sultanate of Oman. I use Hatta border because it is close to my house;
2) Present passport to the immigration counter. Get the exit stamp;
3) Drive to Oman border post. On the way, there will be car inspection. Should not be a problem if you are not carrying drugs or dead body;
4) At Oman border, present your passport to the counter. If you really want to visit Oman, you have to buy car insurance. But if just to renew visa, you can simply tell the officer you want to renew visa;
5) Pay AED60 per person and get visit visa to Oman;
6) Make a U-turn to Dubai and drive to Dubai border;
7) Get a visit visa stamp from Dubai immigration for 30 days. You are done.

A straight road to Oman border

Last weekend I made a record of 3 hours to complete the whole run. I felt lazy to do it in the beginning because my wife and I will be leaving Dubai for UK anyway, this coming Friday for our Eid vacation. But I didn't want to have any problem with the immigration for overstaying without valid visa, so I did the run.



It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it is not.
It's a visa and it runs out fast.

Julie Burchilli
British Columnist

6 comments:

HH said...

Uih... pegi UK tu...

Pesan ikan lumek sekok!!!!

fadeltoha said...

korang beraya kat UK ke? ader ke ketupat, lemang, kuah kacang kat UK tu?...

cohong gym said...

long aku nak kirim barang. tolong belikan aku minah saleh 3 orang. pastu kau hantar pakai courier kat aku. segala perbelanjaan akan ditanggung oleh kau hehehhehe

doremon said...

along

selamat hari raya aidilfitri, maaf zahir batin.

jangan dengaq depa punya cerita la pasal lemang ketupat rendang kuih baulu lontong samperit dodol nasi himpit dan segala mak nenek juadah di pagi raya tu long, tak da pa punya benda2 tu, besa je he he he he jemput makan jemput jemput

Kirk "Hamidi" Hammett said...

maksud cohong tu, dia nak 3 patung barbie! dia nak buat teman tido dia, long. ye la, 1 patung je tak cukup utk dia!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Long! Maaf Zahir Batin dan jgn kawin dua kat Dubai tau!

Jumper said...

A useful piece of information as I plan to cross the border with my family when they come for the yearly visit in December :)

Don't take too long to publish your UK raya posting since we're still in the raya mood now...

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