Entry permit needed for expatriate residents to return to the UAE
From 1 June 2020, foreigners holding a valid UAE residence visa can start returning to the UAE. Those who wish to return must apply for a resident’s entry permit first.
Along with the application, you are required to submit these documents:
- a coloured photo of the applicant
- a copy of the residence visa
- a copy of the passport
- proof of the reason for exiting the UAE. This could be a letter issued from the applicant’s employer or a medical entity, if travel was for medical reason. If the travel was for education, a letter from the educational institute is needed. If the travel was for tourism, the airline ticket can be provided.
The decision regarding allowing the UAE’s residents to enter the country was announced on 18 May 2020 by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
For visa holders of Dubai…
Meanwhile, expatriate residents who are holders of Dubai visa, may return to Dubai starting from 22 June 2020, after they apply for a ‘Return Permit for Residents outside the UAE’ and get approval from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai.
Eligible residents who fulfill all requirements of the application will receive a message of approval instantly. If an application is rejected, it would most likely be for reasons related to precautionary measures. In this case, the residents may re-apply at a later stage.
Refer to the Twitter account of GDRFA Dubai for latest updates.
Learn more about the new guidelines for returning Dubai residents from the website of Emirates Airline.
Visa holders of other emirates must seek approval from Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICA) in order to return to the UAE.
Read about the coronavirus helpline for the UAE’s residents abroad.
Guidelines for returning residents
National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship shared guidelines for expatriate residents with valid UAE residence visa returning to the UAE from 1 July 2020. The guidelines are as follows:
All residents returning to the UAE must complete a COVID-19 pre-examination at an accredited laboratory.
- Currently, accredited laboratories are located in 106 cities across 17 countries worldwide. More laboratories will be added in the accredited list in the next few weeks. (More information about accredited laboratories can be found on https://screening.purehealth.ae/application.
- Without a negative result of COVID-19 test taken in the 96 hours prior to take-off, individuals will not be permitted to board the aircraft.
- Accredited laboratories are aware of the time constraints and will deliver results electronically.
- In cases where countries do not have laboratories approved by the UAE (at the time of travel), expatriate residents have been allowed to present a negative result of COVID-19 test conducted at any approved medical facility; the result should have been issued not more than 96 hours before boarding the flight.
Update on approved laboratories
The UAE Government announced that all laboratories from around the world may conduct the COVID-19 test on expatriate residents wishing to return to the UAE as long as they are accredited by their respective governments.
Read more on COVID-19 travel updates.
All costs for quarantining and medical assistance, whether at home or in another designated facility will be at the cost of the individual primarily.In certain circumstances, the companies by which the returning individuals are employed, shall bear all costs related to the medical examination and quarantine.
All residents returning to the UAE will also be required to download a certified app which will allow authorities to monitor their health whilst in quarantine and maintain the safety of society.
The UAE will continue to combat COVID-19, both at home and abroad, in order to serve the citizens and residents of the nation.
Read news coverage on the website of WAM.