News Here are the requirements for residence visa holders flying...

Here are the requirements for residence visa holders flying back to Dubai


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Before going back to Dubai, you might want to consider first reading the new rules when entering the emirate. 

Passengers with residence visas coming from the Philippines are eligible to travel to the UAE. 

Before you book

Before you book a plane ticket going to Dubai and holding a residence visa issued in the emirate, it is mandatory to have return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This rule only applies to Dubai visas. All other UAE residence visa holders do not have to apply for this. 

Applying a return approval from GDRFA needs to be done on this link

During the application process, you will be asked to enter your Residence File Number which can be found on your visa under File. 


Check the GDRFA website to see the status of your application. Once the application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number. However, if the application cannot be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. There is no need to follow up on your status with the GDRFA’s call centre. 

Once you get the approval, you will be needing the GDRFA application number to complete with your flight booking either online or through their call centre. 

The GDRFA approval is only applicable for residence visa issued by the emirate of Dubai. If you have a residence visa from another emirate, you don’t need ICA or GDRFA approval to travel to Dubai. 

Before you travel

All passengers traveling to Dubai from any destination, including those passengers connecting in Dubai, are required to have a printed negative Covid-19 PRC test certificate to be accepted on the flight. 

The test for the virus must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. 

Airlines will only accept polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, other certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in the emirate. 

SMS and digital certificates will not also be accepted. Without the printed document, the passenger will be denied entry on the flight. 


Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from the test. 

At check-in

All passengers must complete fulfilling this health declaration form. The form will be given to the staff in the check-in area. The form can be filled out prior to your flight or while at check-in. 

During your flight

The airline staff will give passengers a separate form called the quarantine undertaking form if his/her final destination is in Dubai. The form must be handed to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. 

When you arrive

Passengers may need to take another Covid-19 PCR test on arrival. If you get this test, you must remain in your residence until you receive the test result. 

If the result came positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines. 

The last step is to download the Covid-19-DXB Smart App. 

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got story to tell? Email him at

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