The COVID pandemic is now more manageable. Because of this, many countries have lifted their travel restrictions. It’s not surprising that tourists from different parts of the world have booked flights. Hotel reservations are also through the roof.
A UNWTO report showed that tourism has started to bounce back. Around 474 million international tourists traveled from January to July 2022. That was a major increase from the 175 million who traveled during the same months in 2021. There were about 207 million international arrivals recorded in June and July 2022. Those numbers were more than twice seen in the same two months of the previous year.
The report also revealed that 309 million of those tourists visited Europe. The Middle East also received its fair share of tourists. Saudi Arabia led the tourist charge. More than 18 million tourists visited the Kingdom from January to September 2022.
Another popular country on travelers’ radars is the United Arab Emirates. Countless tourists are so excited to visit the country. They want to experience its amazing sights and breathtaking travel spots.
Visitors need a visa to travel to the UAE. People living in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can apply for an entry permit online. They can do so via the country’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The GDRFA said on social media that the service allows for easy and hassle-free entry to the UAE. The department will issue the entry permit in advance to those who live in GCC countries. This post will discuss everything residents need to know to apply for an entry permit online.
Conditions GCC Residents Must Pass
GDRFA declared they must make sure GCC residents meet the following conditions. Especially when applying for the online service.
They must have a legal residence permit from a GCC country. The permit should be valid for at least one year.
The resident must not have any existing restrictions. Especially ones that prevent them from entering the country.
The traveler’s residency or work card must also show their profession.
Required Documents for GCC Residents
The resident must have their original passport.
The resident must present their original residence permit. This should be from a GCC country. They must show this upon arrival.
The resident must present a labor or civil card.
Steps to Applying for an Entry Permit
Check out the online service “Entry Permit for Residents in GCC Countries.” It’s available at https://www.gdrfad.gov.ae/en/services/ee043e4a-5c61-11ea-0320-0050569629e8. They should then click on “Start Service.”
New applicants will have to create an online account. Previous visitors will have to log in. Click on the tab marked “Individuals.” A username and password are also needed for existing GDRFA accounts. Individuals with a UAE Pass can use that to log in to the GDRFA portal. The UAE pass is available to non-residents of the country.
Individuals who don’t have a GDRFA or UAE Pass account must register. They should click on the corresponding tab. Next, they must select the option to register by email. They will become asked to provide or do the following:
Create their user name
Enter their first and last name
Enter their email address
Enter their Date of Birth
Set a password and confirm it.
The applicant will have to request an OTP. They will also need to check the box indicating they’re not a robot. They should then accept the terms and conditions. The last step is to click on “Register.”
The resident will then fill in a form. They will have to input personal details.
The resident will have to upload the specific documents mentioned above.
The applicant will have to pay the fee. This can be done using a credit card or debit card.
The last step is to submit the application.
Applicants will pay Dh250. A 5% Value Added Tax is also included in the payment. The GDRFA stated that approved entry permit applications are often sent fast. This often happens within 48 hours.
Extra Notes for GCC Residents
The eVisa is always emailed to the resident’s registered email address. This becomes done once the application's approved.
GCC expatriate residents must have their sponsors with them. The same rule applies to companions traveling with citizens from GCC countries. Application for entry permits is always denied if their sponsors are not with them.
Entry permits for GCC residents are only valid for 30 days. This starts from the date of issue. They are then permitted to stay for 30 days from their entry date. They can extend their visa for 30 more days.
UAE Entry permit for companions traveling with GCC citizens is valid for 60 days. This starts from the date it was then issued. They are also permitted to stay for 60 days from their date of entry. Their visa can be extended for 60 days.
Travelers with canceled or expired GCC residence visas cannot enter.
A GCC resident can become barred from entering due to their employment. This can happen if they have a different profession on their card. There are cases when a resident changed employers after getting an entry permit. They will need to apply for a new one before they’re allowed entry to the UAE.
The visitor’s GCC residency card must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of arrival.
The GCC resident must have a valid passport. It should also be valid for at least 3 months from the date of arrival.