COVID-19: Can UAE residents fully vaccinated in India return to the UAE?

Dubai: Residents looking to return to the UAE have been seeking clarification on the vaccination rules announced by the authorities to be able to travel from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda. UAE had announced on August 3 that it would allow its resident visa holders stranded in these countries to enter the UAE, effective August 5.

The requirements were also announced at the time by the General Civil Aviation Authority and National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority. 

Also read

  • How to apply for ICA or GDRFA approval to return to the UAE
  • India-UAE flights: Watch the first batches of stranded UAE residents return to Dubai
  • How to check for visa validity before travelling to the UAE

I was vaccinated in India, can I return?

As of the latest announcement, no, unless you fall in an exempted category. Only residency-visa holders who got vaccinated in the UAE, and have vaccination certificates issued by the UAE authorities will be allowed to travel from these countries. Some categories of residents have been exempted from this requirement, detailed later on in this story.

The directive from UAE authorities clearly state that categories now allowed to travel “include those with valid residency visas who received the two doses of vaccine in the UAE, and that 14 days passed since receiving the second dose, as well as having vaccination certificates approved by official authorities in the country.” Airlines such as Emirates and Etihad also clarify this on their websites.

Therefore, if you received your two vaccination doses in India while stranded there, and have not been vaccinated in the UAE, you will not be able to travel in to the country as of now. 

What else would I need to return?

  • Valid residency visa and relevant GDRFA (Dubai residents) approval or ICA (rest of the UAE)
  • PCR test within (48) hours from the date of departure
  • Rapid test to be conducted before boarding the flight

Allowed to return with/without vaccination

NCEMA announced that some returning residents are exempt from the vaccination requirement when returning to the UAE. This includes medical personnel working in the country, including doctors, nurses, technicians. They can return whether vaccinated or noit, provided other conditions are met. 

This exemption also applies to residents working in the educational sector who teach in universities, colleges, schools and institutes. 

Students studying in the UAE, people who deserve humanitarian consideration with valid residency visa, workers in federal and local government authorities, and cases of those completing treatment in the country are also allowed to return, whether they are vaccinated or not.

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