GDRFA Approval For UAE Residents: Clarifying All The Latest Updates

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
GDRFA Approval For UAE Residents: Clarifying All The Latest Updates

As per the recent update, UAE Residents will be permitted to fly back to any emirate. Holders of all visas can now fly to any emirate in the UAE. However, until recently, UAE Residents who have been outside the country for more than six months were not permitted to enter. But this decision has been relaxed. Starting 12 September, UAE Residents who were stuck abroad for over six months can return to the country. However, they must have a valid residency visa and must have taken a vaccine approved by WHO.

Also read: Travelling From Dubai To Abu Dhabi: All The Rules In Place

What Are The Rules For UAE Residents Who Stayed Abroad For More Than 6 Months?

As per the recent rules, starting 12 September, the UAE will permit entry of all residents who have taken any of the WHO-approved vaccines. This also means that residents who have remained abroad for more than six months can now return to the UAE. UAE residents who were stranded in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria and Afghanistan for over six months are now eligible to return home.

As for the rules, residents must apply for the ICA permit and present the approved vaccination certification prior to departure. In addition, they must also get a PCR test 48 hours before departure and the QR code of the same must be presented at the airport.

Following this, all residents must undertake another rapid PCR test before boarding, and another PCR test on the fourth and eighth day after arrival in the UAE. Children under 16 years are exempt from the procedures.

UAE Residents Returning From Which Countries Need GDRFA Approval?

Residents returning from 10 countries must seek GDRFA or ICA approval in order to be able to return to the UAE. The 10 countries include:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Indonesia

Residents returning from any of the above countries must take approval from GDRFA if they are residents of Dubai or from ICA if they live in any other emirate.

UAE Residents Returning From Which Countries DO NOT Need GDRFA Approval?

GDRFA or ICA approval is not needed for UAE residents returning from Nepal, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.

Does This Rule Apply To Tourists?

No, this rule is only for UAE residents travelling from any of the above mentioned 10 countries. Meanwhile, here are all the rules for tourists visiting UAE from India. Meanwhile here’s everything you need to know about applying a UAE tourist visa. 

Do Dubai Residents Need To Be Vaccinated To Return To The UAE?

Yes, all residents returning to the UAE must submit proof of vaccination upon arrival. The vaccine must be approved by WHO.

What Are The Rules For UAE Residents Returning To Abu Dhabi?

All residents returning to Abu Dhabi must take approval from ICA before boarding the flight. Once this is done, they will receive a QR code, which is required to board the flight. This rule does not apply to UAE citizens. Residents who plan to fly to Abu Dhabi and then travel to Dubai, must also get approval from ICA. The new rule also applies to children and infants.

Those who are fully vaccinated need not upload their certificate in any portal. However, all other ICA approvals must be completed. Meanwhile, here are all the rules for tourists visiting Abu Dhabi.