Travel permits being cancelled, UAE residents stranded in India say

Travel permits, being, cancelled, UAE residents, stranded, in India

Dubai - Pending any extension, the 15-day India-UAE travel agreement will conclude within four days, on July 26, adding to the expats' despair.



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 22 Jul 2020, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jul 2020, 8:49 PM

Some Indians stranded back home say they are facing complications in travelling on pre-booked flights to the UAE as their Covid-negative tests are no longer being accepted as valid for travel to the UAE.
A section of passengers with valid Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) approvals said they are facing travel-related complications owing to the validity of their Covid tests.

Certain passengers due to travel from Kerala on Wednesday and Thursday told Khaleej Times their Covid-19 negative reports, issued from centres that were earlier in the approved list, are now considered invalid.

Pending any extension, the 15-day India-UAE travel agreement will conclude within four days, on July 26, adding to the expats' despair.

Sam Bennen, whose wife and two kids are in Kerala, said: "We got the approval from ICA weeks ago. On Wednesday at 12pm, we got a mail from the ICA that said our permit is cancelled. We were told that the Covid-19 negative reports needed to be from a list of centres approved by the ICA and a list was given to us.

"I had booked a flight for 5pm on Thursday, which I had to cancel because the testing centre mentioned in the list is 10 hours away from my hometown in Kollam. Now, I have no other choice but to wait for more clarity and an easier process before they travel."

Kaushik Sharma, a Fujairah resident who has been stranded in India since March and has not received the ICA approval after multiple applications, said: "Many of us are the sole breadwinners for our families. We came on annual leave and got stuck here, and it has put our jobs at great risk. Many of our visas will expire."

A source at the Indian diplomatic mission in the UAE told Khaleej Times that a decision in this matter should be issued "shortly".

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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