The Covid-19 pandemic has created an air of uncertainty across the globe. When it comes to travelling, many people have cancelled their summer 2020 vacation plans while others are still struggling to make it back to their home countries due to the unavailability of flights and temporary shutdown of airports among other things. This has mainly affected foreign workers based in the UAE, who had planned professional or personal trips prior to the coronavirus lockdown and are not being able to return back to their jobs and families. In light of this, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has taken notice of the matter.
It has kick-started efforts to bring back an approximate 200,000 people to the UAE, but the rules remain unclear and many have had their applications rejected, despite the fact that Dubai reopened to tourists on July 7 this year. Some members of a Facebook group for foreign workers mentioned they applied and got rejected over 10 times. Another woman said she applied 21 times, reported AP. “I have called the UAE Embassy here in Armenia, immigration in Dubai, and all the hotlines and emergency hotlines given by the UAE, but all of them said they cannot help us even if my wife is pregnant,” claimed Eudinson Uy who along with his pregnant wife had planned to return to their home in the UAE after a vacation in Armenia.
However, due to the lockdown of the Gulf country over the coronavirus pandemic, she ended up giving birth there. The Filipino couple and their baby are still stuck in Armenia. Many new mothers who travelled outside the Emirates to give birth are being unable to return to the UAE now. “It’s like a Catch-22,” said Minna Joseph, who has been in Canada since February. “A lot of mothers just have no idea how to bring back their babies.” Infants are not provided with a national ID until they have a residency visa. But many parents are not being able to get their children visas because Emirati embassies overseas are not operational due to the pandemic.