PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA
DUBAI – UAE residents who are currently abroad and need to return to the country during the partial closure of airports and borders due to the coronavirus pandemic can register through a new service launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Update as of May 18: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said expatriates who wish to return to the UAE from June 1 must have a valid residency visa and a family in the UAE and must apply for approval in order to return to the emirates.
Update as of May 13: The online service has been moved under the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website. Click here
Update as of June 22: New system for expats to get ‘instant approval’ to return to Dubai
The service, Twajudi for residents, is available to expatriates with a valid residence visa but are currently outside the country due to the coronavirus pandemic and need to return to the UAE for urgent work or emergency.
The free service aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE in emergency situations, particularly during the pandemic.
The Ministry advised applicants not to book their travel tickets in advance unless they have received approval of their application through Twajudi.
“After getting the application approvals, please proceed to book your travel tickets as per your actual traveling dates,” the Ministry added.
Those without emergencies or urgent reasons to return to the UAE amid movement restrictions due to the pandemic are urged to wait until immigration and travel policies return to normal.
1. Go to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website https://smartservices.ica.gov.ae or click here
2. Key in your information, including Emirates ID number, passport number and the reason you left the UAE.
3. Attach supporting documents:
– Coloured photo
– Copy of residence visa
– Passport copy
– Proof of reason you left the UAE (letter from company in case of business trip, or flight tickets)
– Return ticket to UAE (optional)
Residents stranded abroad when flights were grounded in March have received permission to return to the UAE. On May 9, Etihad has started limited flights to Abu Dhabi for those who received permission to return to the country. Emirates also announced that it has opened flight bookings for similar flights back to Dubai.
Those with exceptional cases have been flown into the UAE since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted travel around the world, as in the case of a couple who were stranded in South Africa when borders closed. Dubai-based expats Mark and Chiara Hill arrived in the emirate on a special flight arranged by the UAE government so they can be reunited with their daughter.
The Ministry said the Twajudi for Residents aims to “ensure the health and safety of residents on its land and facilitate their return to the country in emergency cases”. ICA/Expat Media
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