Filipino residents holding valid UAE visas who have been stranded in the Philippines are now allowed to return to the UAE without having the need to secure entry permits.
The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced last August 12 that expats can now head back towards their second home.
Automatic approval will be granted to those wishing to return, according to the decision released by the ICA and the NCEMA as part of the second phase of the UAE’s ‘Residents Return Programme’.
Many Filipinos who have been struggling to secure permits said that this new travel rule gave them hope since they can now return back to their employers who have been waiting for them for months. Among them is Felix Crisostomo, a restaurant server working in Dubai for four years who said that he struggled to obtain a permit from authorities.
“Ilang beses na ako tinawagan ng amo ko kung kailan ako makakabalik. Mahirap kasi laging denied yung request sa website tapos siyempre iniisip ko lagi kung paano na yung pamilya ko kung hindi ako makakabalik sa Dubai,” said Crisostomo.
With the new measure, he’s confident that he can now return back to work to support his family once again.
“Malaking bagay ito kasi kailangan ko na lang mag book ng ticket para makabalik at makapagtrabaho na ulit matapos ang limang buwan,” he added.
For Imelda Mercado, she said that she has been very thankful that her employer only hired a temporary household help to make up for her absence of four months.
“Ito na siguro ang pinakamatagal kong bakasyon. Pero kahit ganoon, hindi ko maalis sa isip kong mag-alala sa amo ko, lalong lalo na sa mga alaga ko sa UAE na napamahal na rin sa akin,” said Mercado.
An OFW in Abu Dhabi for over 10 years, she said that she has gained the trust and confidence of her employer since she started working for them in 2010. She said that she maximized her time back in the Philippines to catch up with her own family and that it’s now time for her to return to the UAE to continue providing for their needs as an OFW.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa amo ko dahil hindi niya ako pinabayaan kahit nasa Pilipinas ako. Talagang hinintay nya akong makabalik sa kanya. Maraming salamat UAE at ngayon makakabalik na ako sa pangalawang tahanan ko,” said Mercado.
Five-step process to return to UAE without permit:
• ICA advises residents who intend to travel back to the country to upload their details including passport, ID number, and nationality at: https://uaeentry.ica.gov.ae so authorities in the UAE can verify their travel documents.
• All residents are also expected to bring with them a valid negative PCR COVID-19 test result valid within 96 hours ahead of their departure. Here’s the official list from the Philippines as of August 12.
• Airline officials bringing passengers to the UAE are expected to ensure mandatory checks for each passenger’s COVID-19 test.
• In addition, upon landing in the UAE, all passengers will be subject to a COVID-19 swab test and mandatory quarantine as per approved protocols.
• They are also expected to download the Al Hosn App to help monitor their COVID-19 results for the safety of their fellow UAE residents.