Dubai: Holders of expired residence visas issued in Dubai have until November 10 to return from India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda, Dubai-based airline flydubai updated on their website on Monday. This was the latest update in a series of amendments made to restrictions on travel for passengers from these countries.
UAE had placed restrictions on all passengers from these six nations in April, earlier this year with limited exemptions for diplomatic passport holders, Emiratis, golden visa holders etc. The restriction also applied to anyone who had been in these countries in the 14 days before arriving in the country.
As of August 23, Dubai amended some of these restrictions but there are certain conditions attached. A few amendments differ for Abu Dhabi arrivals and/or passengers with visas issued in Abu Dhabi or other emirates.
We list out all the categories of travellers who are currently allowed to land in Dubai and the conditions attached for such travel. All these updates apply specifically for travel to Dubai only, and for residents with Dubai-issued resident visas. If you’re planning to travel to another UAE emirate and have a residence visa issued elsewhere in UAE, the guidelines could be different.
Valid residence visa holders
Residents holding valid Dubai-issued visas can travel to Dubai from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda, subject to the following conditions:
- Hold a valid GDRFA approval that is issued on or after August 5
- Carry a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic, within 48 hours of travel. Such test should be from approved medical test facilities in the country of departure.
- Undergo a rapid PCR, RT PCR, ID NOW or molecular test at the airport within 6 hours of boarding
- Undergo a second PCR test on arrival in Dubai
- Download COVID19 – DXB Smart App available on App Store and Play Store
While Dubai-based airlines confirmed earlier this month that vaccination certificates will not be required to board, GDRFA approval is necessary for all passengers.
Exemption from carrying negative PCR test result
UAE nationals and children younger than 12 are exempted from the PCR test requirement from country of departure. However, UAE nationals will be required to take a PCR test on arrival in Dubai, irrespective of whether they hold a negative test result from country of departure.
GDRFA approval not required for Expo visas
The website of Dubai-based carrier Emirates clarifies in its travel rules that passengers with a UAE visa sponsored by "Dubai EXPO 2020" do not require GDRFA approval to enter Dubai.
Expired residence visa holders
On Monday, flydubai confirmed on their web portal that residents with expired Dubai-issued visas could travel back until November 10. This only applies to Dubai-issued UAE resident visas which have expired or will expire between April 20 and November 9, inclusive of both dates. Residents can check their visa expiry date using GDRFA’s official website.
No extension if stayed abroad longer than 180 days
Flydubai added that the expiry date will not be extended for UAE residents with Dubai-issued visas who have stayed outside of the UAE for more than 6 months if they left before 20 October 2020.
Tourists from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Uganda
On Sunday, it was announced by flydubai on their website that travellers with tourist visas from these countries could fly to Dubai provided they have NOT entered or been in India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Uganda in the previous 14 days.
All other passengers
Emirates has mentioned on their travel guidelines page that all other passengers who have been in India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda in the 14 days prior to arriving in Dubai will not be permitted to enter.
Transit passengers from these nations must complete all the requirements of their final destination and present a negative COVID 19 PCR test certificate for a test taken 72 hours or less before departure or as required by their final destination.
Such transit passengers must also get approval or entry permission from the country which is their final destination.
Indian passport holders with UK/US/Europe visa
Emirates said on their website that Indian passport holders travelling to India via Dubai can obtain a visa on arrival in Dubai for a maximum stay of 14 days provided they:
• have a visitor visa or a green card issued by the Unites States, or
• a residence visa issued by the United Kingdom or Europe union
The airline added that the visa issued by United States, United Kingdom or Europe union has to be valid for a minimum of 6 months. Again, these passengers should not have been in India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda in the 14 days prior to arriving in Dubai.