The GDRFA approval for uae residents was a process many people have to carry out if they were outside the UAE and wanted to return. However, according to the latest ICP statements, it is not necessary anymore. But it is equally important to understand how to do the process in case it gets enforced again.
In this article, you are going to learn more about the GDRFA approval and why it was necessary for travelling to the UAE. Moreover, you will see what you need to get back to any of the Emirates. Let us observe:
- See what the GDRFA approval for UAE residents is
- Is the GDRFA approval for UAE residents needed now?
- Step-by-step on how to get the GDRFA approval for UAE residents
- The return permit you need to get back to Abu Dhabi
- Do you need GDRFA approval for uae residents to Dubai?
- Get back to the UAE easily now
- Return from abroad with your residency visa
1. See what the GDRFA approval for UAE residents is
The UAE, like many other countries, established some restrictions due to COVID-19 when the pandemic was at its peak.
One of them was to request the GDRFA approval for all of those that were outside the country and wanted to return to the UAE.
This means that people travelling from a list of restricted countries had to use the GDRFA approval link for UAE residents before their trip.
Particularly, those that got the Dubai UAE visa stamping were the ones that could obtain the approval.
Thus, those that hold a Dubai Residency Visa and were travelling had to carry out the GDRFA approval process first.
But, once the covid-19 crisis became manageable, the UAE started to lift the restrictions. And, it was not necessary to obtain the GDRFA approval.
2. Is the GDRFA approval for UAE residents needed now?
According to the latest information issued by the ICP, the GDRFA approval for UAE residents link is not required anymore.
Also known as the ICA approval, UAE residents travelling from abroad do not need to obtain the approval.
However, it is important to understand the reason why it was required, as well as how to obtain it.
This is because it may be the case that the Authority starts to request entry approval for UAE residency holders. So, it is best to know how to do it so you can be prepared.
3. Step-by-step on how to get the GDRFA approval for UAE residents
Previously, the UAE requested passengers travelling from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Nepal, and Uganda to Dubai were required to apply for GDRFA approval.
They had to follow the next steps:
- Apply for the GDRFA approval using the ICA Smart Services website.
- Provide the vaccination certificate to the authorities.
- Submit a PCR test within 48 hours with its respective QR code.
- Follow measures at arrivals such as quarantine and PCR checks.
As you can see, before travelling, they had to obtain ICA approval.
3.1 Obtain the GDRFA approval for UAE residents in no time from the ICA Website
These are the steps to obtain the GDRFA approval:
- Go to the ICA Smart Services portal.
- Under the “Service” tab, click on “Register Arrivals.”
- You will have to fill out the application form. Make sure to enter the correct data and check your email address, since you will receive a QR code.
- Provide your passport details.
- Enter your UAE address and mobile number.
- Provide the details of your vaccination and PCR test.
- Upload the following documents: passport copy, PCR test results, photograph, and vaccine certificate.
- Confirm the details are correct and sign the declaration.
- Click on “send.”
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3.2 Obtain the GDRFA approval from the official portal
You can access the GDRFA official website to apply before entering the UAE. You just have to follow the next steps:
- Go to the GDRFA website.
- Look for the “Return Permit Service.”
- Enter your date and country of birth, and visa number.
- Enter the country from where you are travelling, as well as the airport you are arriving at.
- Provide your email address.
- Upload the documentation: passport copy, visa, and Emirates ID.
- Click on “send.”
If the GDRFA approved the application, the person received an official notification by email through the GDRFA.
4. The return permit you need to get back to Abu Dhabi
If you are planning to get back to Abu Dhabi, Kizad Abu Dhabi, or any other location in this Emirate, you no longer need to apply for approval.
However, you can use the Al Hosn app if you would like. You just have to register through the ICA Smart Travel Service before your flight.
The Al Hosn app was used to access public spaces in Abu Dhabi. It has a colour-coded system that allows the authority to have better control of the health situation.
But, according to the most recent statements, the Al Hosn app is now just a tool for proof of vaccination and test result. Both inside the UAE and outside.
This means that the green pass is no longer necessary to access public spaces in Abu Dhabi.
So, as a traveller to Abu Dhabi, you do not need to worry about anything when it comes to visiting restaurants, establishments, or any other. You can move to Abu Dhabi and go anywhere you go without having to think about the green pass of the Al Hosn app.
Nonetheless, as a UAE resident in Abu Dhabi, it is useful to have this app on your smartphone just in case. Particularly, if you are travelling to another country that still has some covid-19 restrictions.
5. Do you need GDRFA approval for uae residents to Dubai?
If you are a resident of Dubai, but you are abroad and you would like to return, you must know you have no restrictions. You do not need to submit any approval to fly back to Dubai or whenever you enter the airport.
Previously, Dubai had established some restrictions for both residents and tourists that were planning to land in this place.
As a UAE resident, you do not have any restrictions to get back to this location. Also, if you are a tourist or a visitor you do not need to apply for approval.
So, this means that even if you are applying for a Dubai Transit Visa, or you are returning from a trip, you do not need to follow the GDRFA approval process.
This way, Dubai is making easier the travel process for residents and tourists. So, there are no extra procedures before your flight.
6. Get back to the UAE easily now
As you can see, during the pandemic and even in the following year it was necessary to follow these health precautions.
But, now that the pandemic is over and almost everyone has been vaccinated, it is safe to travel. So, if you are a UAE resident you do not have to worry about obtaining any approval for travelling back.
And, even if you are travelling to Sharjah or Ras Al Khaimah, or any other Emirate, you do not have to follow the ICA approval process.
7. Return from abroad with your residency visa
The UAE residents that were on the list of restricted countries were not the only ones that had to apply for approval.
It was also the GDRFA approval for residents outside UAE. So, if you are a UAE resident, and you stayed abroad longer than 6 months, you had to go through a process to be able to return.
In fact, as a UAE resident, you cannot stay abroad for more than 6 months, because you may lose your residency.
But it is worth pointing out that some visa holders are exempt from this validity rule. Consequently, those that hold the following visa can stay abroad for as long as they want and they do not need approval or apply for a new visa:
- Golden visa holders.
- Investors that are under an approved classification with a residence permit.
- Government employees that are abroad due to medical reasons or complying with an assignment.
- A foreign wife of an Emirati national citizen who is under her husband’s sponsorship.
- Domestic helper that is accompanying an Emirati national abroad.
- Foreign national students that are studying in a university abroad (applies to Dubai).
As you can see, if you are not under any of the aforementioned categories, then it is advisable for you to return before 6 months of being abroad.
This way you can avoid facing issues with the Authorities. But, you do not have to do any additional process to return to the UAE as a resident.
Are you planning to visit the United Arab Emirates? Perhaps you may want to know more about the new entry system and visas to the UAE or the new unemployment insurance scheme. You can find all of this information and more by visiting our blog.