Residents of the United Arab Emirates who are outside the country no longer need government permission to return home
After flights were grounded in March 2020, UAE residents stuck abroad in the midst of the global pandemic needed to apply for special governmental permission to return to the country.
With exception of those planning to travel to Dubai, residents with valid visas wishing to return to Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain had to be granted approval to make the journey by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
But as of today (August 12), that is no longer a requirement. The ICA immigration system has been updated to allow travel into the country so long as travellers provide certain details – Emirates ID number and passport number – through the ICA’s smart services portal.
A tweet from the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority read: “NCEMA and the @ICAUAE approved the second phase for the return of residents, starting from 12/08/2020, aligned with end of the summer vacation for educational establishments and the continued return of shopping centers and services.”
While a second followed up with: “In order to facilitate returns, the @ICAUAE has developed the current procedures by replacing registration and waiting for approval, to automatically granting pre-approval without the need to submit an application and start the procedures for the return trip.”
The update comes as parents and children prepare to return to school for September, and the six-month mark from March approaches. Under usual circumstances, residential visas for the UAE automatically expire if the person has remained outside of the country for more than six months.
Of course, safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus will still be strictly in place.
Travellers must still fly with negative Covid-19 test results, valid within 96 hours of the flight.
With the exception of Dubai, a 14 day quarantine period is still in place for any traveller landing in the UAE, despite negative test results.
As for residents of Dubai, they must apply to the emirate’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs before arriving and of course, be tested negative ahead of their flight.
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