Indian nationals with any type of valid UAE visa can now travel to the country, India’s Ambassador to the UAE has said. Taking to Twitter on Monday, Ambassador Pavan Kapoor referred to an Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) notification, “as per which both Indian and UAE airlines” can carry Indian nationals holding any type of visa from India to the UAE.
Previously, only residency visa holders were allowed to travel to the country on flights being operated as part of India’s repatriation mission called Vande Bharat.
Last week, the ambassador had said: “Since the UAE has recently started issuing new visas, we have recommended to authorities in India to consider allowing Indians with valid visas to travel to the UAE. We are hopeful for an early decision.”
On August 7, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a memorandum that said: “In respect with countries with which a bilateral travel arrangement, or an air bubble scheme, has been formed, any Indian national holding any type of valid visas for such countries may be permitted to travel to the country concerned as long as there is no travel restrictions for entry of Indian nationals in that country.” Khaleej Times has seen a copy of this memorandum.
In response to the memorandum, the Ambassador had on Saturday urged those wishing to travel to book their tickets only once a formal notification was received from the MoCA.
Parents of kids in India ‘delighted’
The report brings most joy to scores of long-term residents whose children were stranded in India without UAE residency visas.
A majority of varsity-going students who have already received visit visas will be the first set of passengers to return.
An ecstatic Shradha Salla, a Dubai resident who has been stranded in Mumbai with her daughters, said: “I am so happy after hearing this news. We have been waiting since March to return. I have a visa, but my girls didn’t. I was going to apply for an e-permit for my girls, but now with this, we can come back to our home in Dubai.”
Dr Mubarack Valiyakath, a cardiologist with Thumbay Hospital, said his son Nihal, a medical student, was offloaded from a Calicut-Dubai flight last week because he did not have a valid visa. “My son can finally return. I haven’t seen him for nine months.”