Dubai airport
Passengers wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic wait at ticketing for flights at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: All UAE visa holding residents who are stranded outside the country due to COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, now can return to the UAE, a new initiative of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has said on Thursday.

The UAE aims to bring back around 200,000 valid UAE visa holders.

In a tweet, the authority stated that, “The UAE has launched an initiative to return residents with valid visas who have been staying outside the country due to Covid19.”

The initiative targets the return of nearly 200,000 people in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the tweet said.

According to the website of the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the service allows the residents with valid residencies and who are outside the country to apply for entry permission for UAE.

This service aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE in emergency situation.

On May 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and ICA have announced that UAE residents who hold a valid UAE visa and are stranded outside the country, can return from June 1.

Whereas UAE residents outside the country were urged to register at the ‘Residents’ Entry Permit’ service at the authority website, smartservices.ica.gov.ae, but may faced problems registering there and complained of website’s log in and registration problem.

Thought, the authority clarified that it happened due to large number of applications at a time on the website and it slowed down.

“The UAE is keen to facilitate the procedures for holders of valid UAE residency outside the country to reunite with their families who were affected by the precautionary measures taken by the country in light of the current exceptional circumstances to combat COVID-19,” the ministry and the authority said in a joint statement on WAM last month.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said on Thursday, approximately 31,000 residents have already returned to the UAE between March 25 to June 8, these cases were prioritised based on family matters and humanitarian cases.

The COVID-19 checks will be conducted for travellers arriving to the UAE, and they will be obligated to undertake quarantine for a period of 14 days, any cost will be incurred by the traveller, NCEMA said.

In addition, travellers must use one of the special apps approved to track their health status, in order to preserve their safety and the safety of society, it said

After obtaining the approval, the individual will be able to complete the booking of a return ticket on the national carriers or other airlines that operate flights to the UAE, based on the e-mail received by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, NCEMA said.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED AND ELIGIBILITY

Valid residence visa copy

Passport copy

Resident should be outside the UAE

Proof for the reason of visit outside the UAE

WHERE TO REGISTER

Those who wish return to the UAE on valid UAE residence visas can visit the website of the ICA under the category of “Other services – Residents outside UAE – Entry permission – Issue.

They can follow the URL link and upload the required documents here.

https://beta.smartservices.ica.gov.ae/echannels/web/client/guest/index.html#/issueResidentEntryPermission/request/708/step1?administrativeRegionId=1&withException=false