Returning Dubai residents still need GDRFA approval

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Dubai residents urged to get entry approvals before flying in

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Dubai: Dubai residents can apply for entry approval before their departure as the permit validity lasts for 30 days, an official at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, told Gulf News.

Major Salim Bin Ali, Director of the Amer Department for the Happiness of Customers at GDRFA, said a big team was at work around the clock to clear requests for approvals from Dubai residents outside the country seeking to come back.

ICA approval: 300 passengers stuck at Dubai airport reach their homes

The 300 passengers who had been stranded at Dubai International Airport (DXB) on Wednesday afternoon have been allowed to enter the country, authorities announced on Thursday.

A special team – comprising officers of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), the airport’s passport department, and the Roads and Transport Authority – has been formed to bring the stranded travellers to their residences late on Wednesday.

The passengers were left stranded at DXB’s arrival terminals because of a policy update. According to the new rule, in-bound passengers arriving at DXB and holding residence visas issued in other emirates must have pre-travel approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

In a video posted on the GDRFA’s Facebook page, the team was seen assisting residents as they boarded buses. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director-general of the GDRFA in Dubai, thanked the special task force for their swift action in carrying out the evacuation.

Neeraj Agarwal, Consul for Press, information, and culture at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, confirmed that nearly 290 flydubai Indian passengers were transported to the safety of their homes on Wednesday night.

“Flydubai arranged seven buses to transport passengers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We have also come to learn that passengers from DXB Terminal 3, Emirates Airlines passengers, were also transported to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain,” said Agarwal.

Explaining the policy update in a statement sent to Khaleej Times, Dubai Airports said: “According to new travel requirements travellers, holding residence visa issued in other Emirates need approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to return to the country.”

Dubai residence visa-holders are still required to have approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to the UAE.

However, as of Press time, late Thursday evening, UAE carriers Emirates Airlines and flydubai updated its passenger travel information sections on its websites, informing passengers that non-Dubai residence visas can land in DXB as long as they have ICA approval. Airlines have clarified that the GDRFA approval is only for Dubai passengers and all other visa holders must have ICA approval.

Emirates Airlines said: “If you hold a Dubai residence visa and you are flying back to Dubai, you must have return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This only applies to Dubai visas.” However, it added, “If you hold a visa from any other emirate outside of Dubai, you must obtain entry permission from the Federal Authority through uaeentry.ica.gov.ae.”

Meanwhile, budget airline flydubai said: “If you hold a residence visa issued by any other emirate, you will need to confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE at uaeentry.ica.gov.ae before booking your flight. If you do not confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE, you will not be accepted for travel.”

Gdrfa Approval Latest News:

Authorities advised people staying illegally in the country to avail of the ongoing UAE visa amnesty scheme.

Dubai initiative to help visa violators correct status. Authorities in Dubai on Wednesday warned employers against hiring people who have overstayed their visas and those who are living in the country illegally.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai launched an initiative called ‘Country Without Violators’ to raise the public’s awareness of the dangers and penalties associated with employing visa violators.

Hiring a person who is not allowed to work in the country is an offence punishable by a minimum fine of Dh50,000, said Counsellor Dr Ali Humaid bin Khatim, senior advocate-general and head of residency and naturalisation prosecution.

According to the law, penalties could reach Dh100,000, in addition to a two-month jail term, if an employer is found to have hired an individual who came into the country illegally, Bin Khatim added. Visa violators would also have to face hefty fines or imprisonment and deportation.

Col Ali Salem Al Shamsi, director of the anti-infiltrators department at the Dubai Police, said violations of the country’s residency rules are also a security concern.

“This year, there were 18 alarming crimes that had been traced to such violators. However, this has been a significant decrease from the figures recorded in previous years, thanks to the efforts of the Dubai Police,” Col Al Shamsi said.

Col Ali Al Shamsi added that they are working with other government authorities to ensure that residence visa violators don’t overstay or get jobs. “We are trying to check illegal residents through various measures by conducting regular inspection campaigns across the emirate.”

Authorities advised people staying illegally in the country to avail of the ongoing UAE visa amnesty scheme which ends on December 31, to legalise their status or leave the country without having to pay fines.

Initiatives to help violators legalise status in the pipeline

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai is currently working on “several initiatives” that could help visa violators legalise their status. These would apply to those whose visas have expired after March 2020, said Brig-Gen Khalaf Al Ghaith, assistant director-general.

After a series of studies on overstaying residents, the initiatives were put together and had been submitted for approval, he added.

When the pandemic struck, hundreds of people were left stranded in Dubai, and the authorities had extended all necessary assistance to fly them home.

Since June, the GDRFA has repatriated 1,600 people, said Maj-Gen Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, deputy director of the GDRFA. Currently, there no other stranded individuals in Dubai, he added.

Source : khaleejtimes

GDRFA Approval New Update – IS GDRFA approval still required?

Everything you need to know about travelling to the UAE

Flying to Abu Dhabi or Dubai – the latest on PCR tests, quarantine rules and more

Slowly but surely the travel and tourism industries are starting to recover after a challenging year.

With the news that the UK-UAE air corridor has been opened, many UAE residents will be heading to the UK, while many living in the UK will be travelling to the UAE.

Those heading to Britain will not need to quarantine and the same rules apply for Brits coming to the UAE.

As the UK is currently under lockdown, tourists will not be able to travel from the UK to the UAE until at least December 2, as all but essential travel is currently banned.

Testing and other safety measures are in place however to maintain public safety.

Heading to the UAE? Here’s everything you need to know before departing.

What to know if you’re travelling to Dubai

Dubai has been open to tourists since July 7.

Tourists from around the world are required to check if they can get a visa on arrival or have to apply for one before departing.

The list of approved nationalities for visa on arrival is listed here.

Different countries around the world have different procedures before departure with some requiring travelers to undertake a COVID-19 test before travelling.

Travellers are advised to check their own country’s rules and regulations to make the appropriate arrangements.

Most tourists will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result from the past 96 hours upon arrival in Dubai. This applies to these countries: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives Islands, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

Some nationalities and travellers from many countries will be required to take a second test on arrival. This applies to these countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

In addition, it must be printed in English or Arabic, SMS notifications and digital certificates will not be accepted.

Travellers from the UK and from Germany have the option to take a COVID-19 test prior to travelling (to the 96-hour timeline) or can instead take a COVID-19 test on arrival at Dubai International Airport.

For returning residents arriving in Dubai, before travelling all residents with Dubai visas are required to get return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

UAE residents have the option to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of test or take the COVID 19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Residents travelling from some countries may also be required to have a COVID-19 test prior to departure.

What to know if you’re travelling to Abu Dhabi

In September, the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship announced that tourists can visit Abu Dhabi.

For residents, before departure you must obtain entry permission from The Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

All travellers to Abu Dhabi must also take a PCR nasal swab test before boarding their flight in their home country.

International travellers are also expected to disclose the date of entry at all ports and are required to abide by the 14-day quarantine regulations in Abu Dhabi.

A second COVID-19 test will be arranged on the 12th day of quarantine, if negative the wristband is removed after 14 days.

Failure to follow the correct quarantine procedures can result in fines as outlined by the Attorney General.

All travellers to the UAE must take a PCR nasal swab test before boarding their flight in their home country.

If you come to UAE through Abu Dhabi and spend two weeks in another emirate, you will not need to quarantine for a further 14 days on your return to Abu Dhabi.

Old post on gdrfa approval below.

Everyone who takes a Covid-19 test on arrival in Dubai must quarantine until the results come through

Dubai residents returning to the city have been reminded that they still require permission from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)’s process before travelling.

It was announced last week that rules on entering the UAE were being relaxed, with people living in emirates outside Dubai no longer required to apply to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for clearance in order to return to the country.

However, Dubai, which has its own immigration service, still requires permission from GDRFA, which can be done through the authority’s website.

A statement from Emirates said: “Apply for return approval when you book your flight with us online or through our contact centre. You can also complete the application on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website before you book your flight with us.

“During the GDRFA application process, you will be asked to enter your resident file number. This number is on your visa under ‘file’.

“Check the GDRFA website to see the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number.”

The application number is then used to book the flight.

Arrivals in Dubai are required to show a negative Covid-19 test certificate and may have to take another test when they touch down in the emirate.

Everyone who takes the test on arrival in Dubai must quarantine until the results come through and download the Covid-19 DXB app. But only those who test positive have to quarantine for 14 days.

Residents of the six other emirates must also present a negative test result on arrival, but they need to take a second test once they land. Everyone must download the Al Hosn app and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the result.

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