Dubai Residents: How to Get a Return Permit After 6+ Months Abroad

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Vadim

Have you been stuck outside Dubai for over six months? Don’t worry! The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFAD) offers a return permit that allows you to re-enter the UAE. This article explains the process and validity of this crucial document.

What is the Return Permit?

The return permit is a special document issued by GDRFAD for Dubai residents who have stayed outside the UAE for more than 180 days due to valid reasons such as studying abroad, medical treatment, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Key Facts About the Return Permit

  1. Eligibility: Open to Dubai residents who have been abroad for over 180 days with a valid reason.
  2. Application Process: Submit online via the GDRFAD website (
  3. Processing Time: Typically two working days, but may vary.
  4. Validity: One month from the approval date, not exceeding residence visa expiry.

How to Apply for the Return Permit

  1. Create a UAE Pass account for faster application (optional).
  2. Visit the GDRFAD website and log in.
  3. Click on “Create New Application.”
  4. Select “Return Permit for Resident outside UAE More than 6 months” service.
  5. Fill out the application form, including:
    • Sponsor details
    • Passport information
    • Applicant details
    • Reason for extended stay abroad
  6. Upload required documents (Emirates ID, passport, supporting documents).
  7. Pay the application fee.
  8. Submit and await approval.

Required Documents

  • Copy of Emirates ID
  • Passport copy
  • Documents supporting your reason for extended stay

Non-Dubai Residents

If your residence visa was issued in another emirate, apply through the ICP smart services portal at

This return permit is a lifeline for Dubai residents who find themselves abroad for an extended period. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth re-entry to the UAE and maintain your residency status.

Further Reading

Navigating the visa process in the UAE can be complex, but having the right information at your fingertips can make a world of difference.

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