Can you go to jail for overstaying your visa in UAE?

Can you go to jail for overstaying your visa in UAE?
The only time the word Convict sounds pretty attractive to me is when it is sung by the popular Senegalese American Singer, Songwriter, and record producer, Akon.

I mean, we could go about how a handful of our favourite rappers mention their tales of being in jail at some point; well, while some almost sound so good, going to jail/being a convict should not be a worthy consideration... especially when you can simply avoid the reasons. 

If you need to get something clear about overstaying your visa in the UAE [United Arab Emirates], it should be the knowledge that overstaying is an offence, going by their immigration law, and there are a couple of penalties to this violation including a jail term in some instance. 

Since going to jail is a no-no, today’s topic will provide you with adequate information as regards your visa, the fines and penalties attached to overstaying your visa in the UAE, and some valuable information for your knowledge bank. 

What it means to overstay your visa in UAE. 
The word "overstay" simply means exceeding the stipulated number of days provided on your visa at the point of arrival into the UAE [in this context].

While there are many reasons why this can happen, away from the resident trying to illegally stay back in the country, reasons like the COVID-19 lockdown and its protocols, flight cancellation, delay in processing new visa are common reasons for overstaying one’s visa and in most case, they fall within the grace period provided by the UAE law. 

Can you go to jail in the UAE if you overstay your visa?
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Well, in most scenarios, you probably won’t go to jail, but just pegged to a fine. While this may sound comforting for some, permit me to burst your bubble that there have been instances where the resident has been jailed, and some being deported, it is therefore only wise to ensure you are not at the wrong side of the law at any point. 

How much is overstayed fine in Dubai 2021? 
There are levels to these things, and the fine passed for overstaying your visa depends on even the type of visa one has. This could range from a visit visa, 30 days visa, 90 days visa, pre-paid visa holders, and the likes. 

Visitors who overstay on pre-paid or on-arrival visit visas will be fined 200 AED for the first day of overstaying and 100 AED every day after that. It is pertinent to note that any UAE citizen who overstays with an expired residence visa will be fined 125 AED on the first day and 25 AED every day after that. 

The awkward part of this overstaying fine is this, if you didn’t come into the country alone, perhaps with your spouse, children, or relative, you would be paying the respective fines for each of them as well. If there is any moral here, I bet it would be to simply avoid the fines. 

How can I check to overstay fine in UAE? 
The UAE has always been concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens, and the residents, which has been visibly displayed by the number of immigrants that continually troop into the UAE on a daily. While this has been beneficial for both parties, a structured country like the UAE provides measures to instil order, and for any time there is a disorder, there are fines to it. 

In this context, if you had by any chance overstayed your visa, you can check the UAE official website to confirm the fine applicable to you depending on your visa type. 

How do I find out if I have to overstay fines? 
Unless you want to play the ignorant part, which does not excuse you from penalties anyway; you must have viewed your visa validity window, and when it had been exceeded, you would have a 30-day grace, after which you would be fined from the day after the grace window lapse, and other days after. The daily charge is usually within AED 200-AED 100, depending on your visa type. 

Where do I pay my overstay fine? 
You can pay your overstay fine at either of the terminals below for your review. 

You could settle your fines at the point of leaving the country at the immigration desk/office for a seamless process.
2. Ministry of Interior [MOI]
For overstaying fees payment before you depart, you could hasten your exit procedure by visiting any of the local immigration offices, Amer offices, or typing centres nearest to you. 
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