Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The United Arab Emirates will implement a new visa system from October 21 that will benefit visitors to the country and family members of Emirati citizens or residents.

On Wednesday, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) announced that under the new visa system, visitors to the UAE can twice apply for a 30-day extension without having to leave the country, Khaleej Times reported.

The move is expected to ease the financial burden on visitors by being able to extend their visa for a relatively modest charge. A fee of 600 dirhams (US$163) is applicable for each extension. Previously, visitors were required to leave the UAE after their visa expired.

A one-year visa extension will also be given to widows, divorcees and their children. The one-year visa extension for dependents begins from the date of the divorce or death of the spouse. Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general of foreigners’ affairs and ports for FAIC, said that there is no need for a sponsor in order to apply for the visa.

“The aim is to give women the opportunity to adjust to their social and economic status after the loss of the head of the family,” Al Rashidi said.