From 11th August onwards, UAE residents in India do not need a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval to travel to Abu Dhabi, according to an announcement by Air India Express. However, those travelling to Dubai and Sharjah will still require ICA or GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs) approval.
All travellers, above the age of 12, must carry a negative Covid-19 PCR test result from a government-approved laboratory in India (ICMR) or a certified designated laboratory and the test should be taken within 96 hours before departure. Children under the age of 12 years and passengers with moderate or severe disability are exempted from taking the PCR test.
The UAE has eased travel restrictions and gradually resumed the issuance of different types of visas for all nationalities. While previously only UAE residents were permitted to travel back to the country from India, now Indians with any type of valid UAE visa can enter. Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor recently took to Twitter to make this announcement. He wrote, “Very pleased to see the @MoCA_GoI notification this evening as per which both Indian & UAE airlines can now carry any Indian national holding any type of valid UAE visa from India to UAE!”
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Airblue and Pakistan International Airlines have started accepting bookings from Pakistani passengers, without an ICA approval, for flights to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
To track the status of UAE visa applications, only the application number, reference number and date of birth or passport number are required. Those who have applied for residence or employment visas from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah can track their application status on ICA’s website. For status of Dubai visas, applicants can track the application status via GDRFA’s website.