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Covid UAE: Filipino expats caught off guard due to fresh travel restrictions

Kirstin Bernabe/Dubai
Filed on March 18, 2021

Technically, Filipinos living in the UAE without an employment visa are not classified as OFWs.

Earlier this week, the Philippines announced it would close its border to foreigners and restrict the number of Filipinos entering the country in its latest bid to contain a spike in coronavirus infections.

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While the new travel rules still allow overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to go home, several expats are now wondering if their dependents will be able to fly with them.

Technically, Filipinos living in the UAE without an employment visa are not classified as OFWs.

As of Press time, government authorities have yet to clarify the issue.

Filipino expat Renato Alvero and his wife — who are set to travel home this April — are among those left confused.

“We were caught off guard. At this point, there’s no clarity for us. I am officially an OFW but my wife is under my sponsorship. But we really have to go home,” said Alvero, an engineer living in Dubai.

The couple had booked the April flight to be with their family in the Philippines, especially since Alvero’s father in law is ill.

“At this point, we don’t have any plan B, in case our flight gets cancelled. But we are hoping to have more details about the new protocols in the coming days. We also hope the government will be flexible in cases like ours,” the expat said.





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