Indians with visit visas can't travel to UAE yet: Indian envoy
Envoy Pavan Kapoor says mission has urged New Delhi to grant permission.
Indian citizens are not allowed to travel to the UAE on visit visas until there is clarification on the travel protocol, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor has said.
"At this point, it is not clear whether the UAE is allowing people to come on visit visas or not. We are awaiting clarity on that. Also, the government of India is yet to decide whether to allow people to travel on visit visas," the ambassador said in an interview with Khaleej Times on Monday, August 3.
The envoy confirmed that airlines are not carrying passengers with visit visa as of now.
Khaleej Times had reported that Dubai has started issuing visit visas to more countries, including India, starting July 29. Though there was no official announcement, travel agents and Amer centre confirmed that restrictions on a number of nationalities have been lifted while issuing visit visas.
However, it was not clear how the visit visa holders would travel to the UAE as commercial flight operations are still suspended in India. UAE-bound Vande Bharat mission flights operated by Air India and Air India Express are only flying people with valid UAE residence visa.
Kapoor said the embassy is inundated with queries related to visit visas. "We have a visit visa and why are you holding us back?" is what people are asking us. We do not want people landing up here on visit visas and have problems. So we have asked for clarifications and we will decide accordingly," said the ambassador.
So, the envoy said, the embassy has recommended to the government of India that people who wish to travel should be allowed as Dubai is issuing visit visas.
However, Kapoor said jobseekers should "hold on" until things get clearer. "If you have a confirmed job, then no problem. But our main concern is that people will travel to the UAE to seek jobs and end up in distress. If someone is coming on a visit visa to meet a family member, then it is okay. But if you are travelling for jobs, we need to ask whether it is the right time to do so."
Travel agents told Khaleej Times that all the visit visa applications, including that for Indian nationals, they submitted to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs are getting approved.
Lakshmi Anand, Manager, Travel and Tours, International Travel Services (ITS), said they are informing customers about the flight status before applying for visas.
As per the latest travel advisory by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India, in-bound travellers should have a stamped residence visa on their passport and a valid ICA (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship) or GDRFA approval to travel to the UAE.