UAE residents currently in India need to obtain travel approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and there is no other special NOC required, a top government official has clarified. Humanitarian cases will continue to get precedence, the official said.
“Those who wish to return must apply through our website and secure approvals. The approval they receive is the NOC to travel to the UAE. There is no special No Objection Certificate for traveling back to the emirates,” Brigadier Khamis Al Kaabi, Spokesperson for the ICA, told Khaleej Times.
“Applicants can mention the reasons for their return and a special committee will go through all applications and give preference to humanitarian cases,” said the official.
Al Kaabi’s comments clarify that the NOC referred to by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi in a now-deleted tweet, is in fact the ICA permit that has been a requirement for all passengers.
The embassy took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to affirm its commitment to the decisions of the Indian authorities regarding the continued closure of airports in India, and implementation of some restrictions that do not allow foreign airlines to carry passengers.
“We express our thank for your cooperation and your understanding of the current global situation, and in case there is any developments in this regard, we will publish it on the official platforms of embassy (sic!),” the Embassy tweeted.
Scores of Indian expats with valid UAE residence visas have been unable to return as their government continues a freeze on commercial air travel as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus. Many residents who spoke with Khaleej Times earlier said they have obtained the permits but are stranded in India due to the restrictions on commercial flight operations to the UAE.
Residents who are outside the UAE and are facing difficulties in following up their request to return can visit the ICA website (smartservices.ica.gov.ae) or contact the call centre on +971600522222, +97123128867 or +97123128865, the UAE Embassy in New Delhi tweeted.
An earlier version of this story was based on a now-deleted tweet by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi. The tweet had said the UAE would issue a no-objection letter for stranded residents in India to travel in some humanitarian cases.
(With inputs from Khaleej Times)