Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Stranded Indians with UAE's ICA approval to return worried about deadline

Dubai: There has been a shower of approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for Indian expats planning to return to the UAE. But their plight is not over yet as there are no planned flights to bring them back to the UAE.
Adding to their woes, there is a looming deadline set on ICA approvals, which clearly stipulate that returning expats have to enter the UAE within 21 days of the date of approval. A copy of one such ICA approval with the deadline is with Gulf News.
According to the General Civil Aviation Authority's latest Q&A guidance for foreign operators Revision 06, issued on June 8 , 2020, regarding a safety decision 2020-01 (Issue 15), no repatriation flight is allowed to transport non-UAE nationals back into the emirates.
In the Q&A, a question under clause 6b asked: “I am planning to operate a flight for the purpose of transporting UAE and non-UAE nationals to the UAE. Am I allowed?" The answer from the Aviation Authority read: “No, your flight is not allowed, for transporting non-UAE nationals to the UAE.”
Kamini Kannan, stranded in Bangalore since March, said: “The only option available for us to board is the Vande Bharat Mission (evacuation) flights being operated by Air India/Air India Express. However, current GCCA guidelines don’t allow these evacuation flights to bring in anyone apart from UAE Nationals without a specific approval.
17/06/20 Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
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