Saturday 31 October 2020 - 6:29:03 am

UAE welcomes return of foreign nationals holding valid residence visas


ABU DHABI, 13th June, 2020 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates has launched an initiative for the return of foreign nationals holding valid residence visas.

The move targets the return of nearly 200,000 people in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

The initiative is a continuation of the country’s efforts to curb the impact of COVID-19.

It was agreed earlier that approximately 31,000 residents would return during the period between March 25 to June 8, 2020, wherein priority was given to humanitarian cases and families.

Khalid Abdullah Humaid Belhoul, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said, "The return of foreign nationals to the country is part of the UAE's humanitarian efforts in light of the current crisis. The focus will be on residents - representing 50%؜ of the total of the current phase - to be reunited with their families."

For his part, Major General Mansour Ahmed Al Dhaheri, Director General of Identity at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said, "This initiative came in implementation of the wise leadership’s directives to enable residents abroad to return to the UAE as part of a gradual return to normalcy."

With regards to obtaining approval to return, individuals are required to register with the "Residents' Entry Permit" service on the Authority’s website (smartservices.ica.gov.ae.), and all requests will be answered within 48 hours.

Upon receiving approval by e-mail from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, individuals will be able to book a return ticket on the national carriers or other airlines operating flights to the country.

Upon arrival, passengers will undergo a test for COVID-19 and must self-isolate at home or undergo an institutional quarantine for a period of 14 days, in addition to using an approved application to track their health status in an effort to uphold public health and safety.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Hassan Bashir