GDRFA Return Permit Requirement for UAE Residents & Expats

Here are all the new updates about the GDRFA return permit in UAE

Feature - gdrfa return permit

GDRFA return permit was essential for UAE residents to return home after traveling outside UAE. If you want to know if the permit is still required, you will be happy to hear that it is not.

The GDRFA permit was a way to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates. As a result, many residents found it troublesome to get a permit to return to their homes.

However, the government has lifted this requirement as the virus isn’t as big of a threat. This has come as a great relief to UAE citizens and residents who frequently travel internationally.

Read more to catch up on the latest updates and learn about the GDRFA return permit.

Latest update on GDRFA Return Permit

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) has announced that UAE residents will no longer need a return permit to enter the country.

While GDRFA return permit is unnecessary, there are still COVID-19 rules that are applied. Read the GDRFA status and COVID-19 regulations below:

Learn more: If you are concerned about your overstay in the UAE, take a look at our Dbd guide on – How to check the overstay fine in UAE, where we have shared all the latest information.

GDRFA return permit to Dubai – Latest Update

gdrfa return permit - dubai

To return to Dubai, all passengers must fulfill one of these three conditions:

  • Possess a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate with proof that you are fully vaccinated. You don’t need a PCR test result if you have proper evidence with a QR code.
  • Show a negative PCR test result. The test result must have been published within 48 hours from the testing time. Make sure the certificate has a valid QR code.
  • Present a certificate as proof that the passenger has recovered from the virus within the previous 30 days. It must have a QR code too.

Related info: Want to get updated about the latest services offered by ICA in UAE? Read our Dbd guide on – ICA services in UAE.

GDRFA return permit to Abu Dhabi – Latest Update

gdrfa return permit - abudhabi

The COVID-19 regulations are pretty similar to that of Dubai:

  • If you are under 16, have proof that you recovered from COVID-19 within the last month, or have a vaccine card with a QR code, you don’t need a PCR test report.
  • You need a PCR test report of a test conducted within 48 hours before the flight if you don’t have proof of full vaccination. The test result must also contain a QR code.

See also: Check this Dbd guide on – How to check UAE visa status online, where we have shared a detailed step-by-step guide with images.

GDRFA return permit to Sharjah and other Emirates – Latest Update

gdrfa return permit - abudhabi

Sharjah has also lifted the necessity of the GDRFA return permit. You can enter all other emirates without the permit as well.

The COVID-19 rules are the same as those of the Emirates mentioned above. You must have proof that you’re fully vaccinated, a recent PCR test report, or a recovery certificate.

See also: Complete guide on Unified number UAE

What is GDRFA return permit?

GDRFA return permit is a document that allows residents and citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to return to the country after traveling abroad. It used to be issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

See also: Check out this Dbd guide on – UAE Golden Visa, where we have shared all the detailed information about how to apply, requirements, fees, and more.

Who needs a GDRFA return permit?

No one needs a GDRFA return permit anymore. The return permit approval system was discontinued.

Since February 2022, UAE residents can enter the UAE without needing to apply for GDRFA approval. [3]u.ae, “Travelling to the UAE, https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/justice-safety-and-the-law/handling-the-covid-19-outbreak/travelling-amid-covid-19/travelling-to-the-uae”

Before this decision, UAE citizens and residents needed a GDRFA return permit to enter the country, regardless of their nationality.

See also: Check this Dbd guide on – UAE visa renewal, where we have shared a detailed process for both tourist visas and residency visas.

Why is GDRFA return permit for UAE residents not required at present?

This change was designed to make entry easier for UAE citizens and residents.

The GDRFA return permit was effective as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now that the threat of COVID-19 has diminished, the GDRFA has determined that the returned permit is no longer necessary.

People planning to return to the UAE should have a valid passport and visa.

How long will GDRFA return permit for UAE residents not be required?

GDRFA return permit will most likely not be needed for an indefinite period. There is no information on how long the GDRFA return permit won’t be required, but since COVID-19 has been reduced, the permit isn’t likely to be needed unless another crisis occurs.

See also: List of visa-free countries for UAE residents

How long has this policy been in effect?

The discontinuation of GDRFA approval has been in place since COVID-19 subsided and people were vaccinated. Since February 26, 2022, the UAE’s government portal has stated that GDRFA approval is no longer required, and people must only fulfill certain vaccine criteria.

GDRFA apps

You can download GDRFA apps on your mobile devices. You can search for the app on AppStore and Play Store or click the links below.

See also: Check out this Dbd guide on – How to apply for Canada visa from Dubai and UAE, where we have shared the detailed process involved, including requirements and fees.

What can I do in GDRFA app?

Here are some of the things you can do in the GDRFA app:

  • Renew the establishment services
  • Request and renew soft tokens
  • Generate travel reports for dependents
  • Report a dependent as absconding
  • Issue outpass of dependents who are trying to leave UAE

How useful is GDRFA app?

The GDRFA is very useful to people who are travelling to UAE. If you are a resident of the UAE, you will most likely find some ways to use the app. Having it on your smartphone can be handy.

See also: Check out this Dbd guide on – How to apply USA visit visa from Dubai and UAE, where we have shared the detailed process involved, including requirements and fees.

FAQs on GDRFA return permit

Is GDRFA return permit still required?

No, a GDRFA return permit is not required anymore to travel to UAE. You only require a COVID-19 vaccine or negative report to return to the UAE.

Final thoughts

A GDRFA return permit was essential for UAE residents and citizens to return to the UAE. However, the permit isn’t necessary, making the process smoother and more convenient.

If you were wondering if you need to apply for a GDRFA, now you’ve got the answer.

We hope you found our Dbd guide informative and helpful. If you did, feel free to share the info with others. We greatly appreciate your support.

About the author

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Arijit Negi
Senior Contributor | + posts

Arijit Negi is a Senior Contributor at DbdPost. He has been living in Dubai for the last 18 years. He completed his degree in Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Mumbai. Arijit's writing focuses on providing helpful guides and information for ex-pats living in UAE, as well as visitors to the UAE.

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Bidhan Gautam
Senior Contributor | + posts

Bidhan is a Senior Contributor at DbdPost. He has a Business Management degree and experience in diverse fields such as business, finance, technology, and more. He is well-versed in DdbdPost content quality standards and committed to providing accurate and reliable information.

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