Dubai: UAE-based families stranded outside the country due to travel restrictions over the COVID-19 pandemic are still waiting their turn to get entry permits, while their kids have already got approvals.
They said not all applications from a family are getting approved, with requests facing rejections multiple times. As a result, they are not able to travel back to the UAE together and continue to be stuck in their home country.
Jassmy Jeothy said her Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) application had been rejected several times, but that of her three-year-old daughter was approved instantly on June 28. Had her’s also been approved, they could have travelled back to the UAE together, she added.
“I came on March 14 to India for a family visit and have been stuck here with my daughter ever since. My husband is in Dubai and he is desperately waiting for our return.”
Jeothy, who works as a sales executive in Sharjah, said she could not send her daughter alone to the UAE. “How can I do that? Also my husband is working and he cannot look after my daughter on his own. I need to be with her. We are pleading with the government to do the needful as our jobs are at stake in the UAE.”
Neethu Jacob, an engineer working in Sharjah, had a similar tale to share. She went to India to deliver her first child Iris. The baby is now more than six months old, but her father is yet to see her. Neethu is unable to get an ICA approval to return to the UAE, but her daughter Iris got an instant okay. “Up until now, I have received eight rejections on my applications. My job is at stake. I cannot imagine sending my little baby on her own to UAE. How can I do that? Who will look after her,” asked Neethu.
In the case of Pakistani expatriate Mahreen Fareed, the family is distraught as only two members have received ICA approvals. While Mahreen and her husband’s ICA applications have been rejected multiple times, those of her minor children have been approved. “I came to Pakistan on March 14 for two weeks with my husband and two children. I have applied for ICA permits 12 times so far and my application has been rejected. Both my children got approvals on June 14, but they cannot travel alone to the UAE. There is no one to look after them. What do I do?”
Mahreen said her husband worked for a bank, but was stuck in Pakistan. “I am a thyroid and migraine patient. I have been hospitalised twice during this period. Doctors have advised me to stay relaxed. I have been having frequent migraine attacks. I am worried about my husband’s job and my children’s future. I just want to return to the UAE desperately.”
T. Vivekanand, with a job as a structural design engineer, is also desperate to return to the UAE, but his application and that of his wife have been rejected multiple times. His children have approvals, but they cannot leave without the parents. “I came to India for my annual vacation as my company asked us to finish our leave before the end of March. Now it seems I will be stuck here forever. My children have approvals, but what is the point? I cannot send them back to an empty house while my wife and I are stranded in India.”
Vivekanand, who is stranded in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, said: “My colleagues got approval and returned to Sharjah last week. They are all single and it was easy for them to return. As a family, we are shattered now. My children have not been able to study well as distance learning has been a challenge with poor internet connection in India.”
Another Indian expatriate, Sidra Aamir, is also worried.
“My husband Azam and eight-year-old son Jazib flew to India on March 10 for a family function and have been stuck since. My husband and son received ICA approvals the first time around, but mine has been rejected four times so far. My son is autistic and my husband cannot travel alone with him. My son needs me. As a result of this, my husband and son are forced to stay back in India. It is really sad. I just wish my approval comes fast.”