Indian expatriates wishing to return to the UAE on residency or work permits would require special authorisation as well as approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA), announced India’s national carrier Air India on June 24. It said that passengers should get approvals from the UAE Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) to travel from India to the UAE on repatriation flights. The details of getting these approvals are not yet clear.
Many UAE residents stranded in India had appealed to the Indian government to help them return to their families and jobs.
Meanwhile, the UAE had asked Air India not to carry passengers to the country in the Vande Bharat Mission repatriation flights. As per the guidelines issued by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Safety Decision 2020-01 (Issue 17) on June 23, transportation of passengers (UAE nationals and non-UAE nationals) to the UAE on the repatriation flights are not allowed.
“All passengers, including the Indian nationals who are holding valid UAE residence visa and have procured the ICA and the GDRFA approvals need to have specific approval from the UAE Embassy in New Delhi and the MoFAIC to travel from India on these repatriation flights,” it said.