UPDATE | Foreign national residents to be permitted to return to the UAE under certain conditions

As communicated in yesterday’s alert (attached), foreign national residents stuck outside of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be permitted to return back to the country as of 1 June 2020, provided they meet certain conditions. There has been a new series of updates since then which we have highlighted below:

Key points:
  • Foreign nationals who wish to return to the UAE must have a valid residence visa, as well as family currently residing in the UAE or who are employed in the UAE.
  • Applications to obtain permission to return to the UAE, should be submitted through the Federal Identification and Citizenship (ICA) after 1 June 2020.
  • Applicants are advised to submit a letter of support explaining the reason for their return to the UAE (for dependents who want to return to the UAE to reunite with their family, a letter from the applicant stating the reason and signed by the applicant is required.  For employees that want to return to the UAE to continue working, a letter from the employer stating the reason and signed the employer is required).
  • Essential workers such as medical staff and teachers, as well as pregnant women and children, will continue to be given priority.

Foreign national residents who were overseas when the country's borders closed on 19 March 2020 were instructed to apply for permission to return via the Twajudi assistance portal, a system previously dedicated to UAE citizens only. This was subsequently replaced by a dedicated portal for non-national expat residents, that remains active and can be found on here.

Analysis and comments

At this time the authorities have advised that those who initially applied for re-entry into the UAE and had their applications rejected, can reapply for permission to return after 1 June.

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