A Cry For Help: Stranded UAE Expats Complain Of Pending ICA Approvals & Other Blocks Stopping Them From Returning Home
Even after Dubai has officially reopened for business and is welcoming back tourists, thousands of UAE residents are currently still stranded overseas with no hope in sight of returning back to the country due to the lack of updates from local government entities.
A number of expats stuck overseas are facing repeated rejections on their applications submitted to the Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship, (ICA) and others are still awaiting approval. Many are also experiencing visa complications and obstacles in travelling on pre-booked flights back to the UAE as their COVID-negative tests are no longer being accepted by the UAE government bodies.
Thus, even those who have been granted permission by the ICA to travel are now unable to do so because of their invalid COVID-19 tests, which is leaving stranded UAE residents overseas in utter frustration and desperation.
Expats have further complained of receiving approval from ICA, then suddenly being informed that the ICA permit has been cancelled and that COVID-19 negative reports will ONLY be accepted from a list of centres approved by the ICA
UAE residents STILL stuck overseas are voicing their frustration over the repeated rejection of their application through the hashtag ‘#BringBackUAEResidents‘ on Twitter & shared a poster reading “Please approve our ICA permit.”
The poster goes onto say:
“We waited long enough. We miss our second home.”
There is an uproar on Twitter and residents are requesting the government to facilitate their return back to the country; so that they can fix the damage caused by their absence
UAE residents are also expressing their dismay over the fact that tourists are being given priority over residing UAE expats with homes and jobs in the Emirates
The regular updates on the status of UAE visas and entry permits have left many stranded folks confused & oblivious to the travel requirements, as they’re unable to get in touch with nor attain accurate info from local government entities
Small children have been separated from their parents, others have endured pregnancy and other major obstacles alone for several months now
Plus, many residents have reportedly lost their jobs due to the fact that they have no way of returning and many are stranded alone with little to no money and are struggling to find accommodations.
Exasperated and emotionally exhausted exapts who call this country their home are sharing their plight over this dire situation and those with visas on the verge of expiring are in complete PANIC mode
Some have even had to cancel their residency visas to enter the UAE on a visit/tourist visa.
All those stranded abroad are attempting to get their voices heard by the concerned authorities, so their return home can be facilitated before Eid al-Adha
Thus, they can be back to the country they refer to as their ‘second home’ in time to celebrate with their families and loved ones.