'New UAE re-entry permit a great relief': From businessmen to students, residency visa holders hail initiative

Residents applying for the service must specify their reason for overstaying abroad for that long and provide proof


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 5:48 PM

The new UAE re-entry permit allows expats who have stayed outside the Emirates for over six months to return to the country as long as they hold a valid visa. This new amendment brought a sigh of relief to many residents living outside the country for education, business or personal reasons.

Abdul Basit Nsubuga, sales manager at Aramex, is relieved by the change as his wife, who holds a UAE residence visa, lives and works back home in Uganda. She always had to return before the six-month deadline.

Nsubuga said, "My wife is a businesswoman, and the work requires her presence and involvement in Uganda. As this was her fourth month of exiting the UAE, we had to hurry up with the travel plans. We have been doing this for years, but the new provision is a big help." The new permit will ease stress and help Nsubuga's children and wife plan their travel better.

The permit can be obtained through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security's (ICP) website under 'smart services' section. The re-entry permit for expats is valid for 30 days after the applicant receives an approval email from the ICP. The approval process takes about five days.

Residents applying for a permit to re-enter the country must specify a reason for staying outside the country for that long and provide proof.

Sudani national Ismail Abdullah, a UAE resident, had to travel back to the country every time before the end of six months. He has set up a business in his home country and the UAE. But the new permit will change all that for Ismail.

"It's a great relief. I had to plan my trip every time before the end of the 180 days, and now I can relax as my presence is essential for my business in Sudan. Now I can plan my trip based on my requirements," said Abdullah.

Residency visa holder Yaseen S, studying media in Kerala, India, had to travel to UAE every six months to keep his visa valid. "It's a good move. Earlier, I had to plan my trip according to my exam and assignment dates. Now I can plan it anytime, and it will be lighter in my father's pocket," joked Yaseen as the cost of tickets increased during college holidays.

Travel industry experts say they have received many inquiries regarding the re-entry permit. "Since the news broke, we have been receiving many inquiries as to how to apply for re-entry, charges, and much more," said Bharath Aidasani, managing partner of Pluto Travels.

"Many businessmen have not returned for a long time, and this provision will be a big relieve for them," said Aidasani.

Deepak Kaushik, marketing director, of Rooh Tourism, said, "We received many inquiries from student residents living abroad. They were keen on understanding how it works. They have expressed relief as some of them had to re-enter by April, and their exams were scheduled at the beginning of May. They can now peacefully prepare for their examination."


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