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Updated October 2022

As things started to return to some semblance of normalcy, the UAE authorities have lifted the requirements of obtaining return permits and approvals for residents and visitors looking to enter Dubai. As it stands, approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) are no longer required.

But while the entry approval requirement has been lifted, the smart GDRFA ( services continue to offer services such as visa and passport applications that are easily accessible through smart GDRFA. Read on to learn about all the smart services provided by the GDRFA.

GDRFA Smart Services

Smart GDRFA is an online portal launched by the GDRFA that tends and caters to immigration administrative services, entry permits and residence permits services, and many others. In the process, the GDRFA Smart Services portal caters to the needs of all segments of society, including visitors and residents of the UAE.

The GDRFA Smart Services also offers a whole host of other services for both individuals and companies. You can find the location of the Dubai Immigration (GDRFA) office locations, should you need it. You can also get answers to any legal concerns related to Dubai immigration rules and policy.

Smart GDRFA approval

As mentioned, please note that returning residents and tourists to Dubai are no longer required to obtain approvals from both the GDRFA and ICA.

GDRFA Smart Services Dubai

The main services provided by the GDRFA is the entry and departure services to and from the emirate of Dubai. Moreover, GDRFA Dubai will soon provide all of its services through facial biometric recognition. Once this project is fully implemented, Dubai residents will be able to apply for visas, and entry permits, even from home, using smartphones to verify themselves to obtain GDRFA service.

The following is what the GDRFA regularly provides for Dubai residents and visitors.

Access for Dubai citizens or resident sponsor

  • Apply for a visit visa for your relatives 
  • Use the smart gates on the airport with the app if you are registered already for the gates 
  • Apply for a residence entry permit for your family members (wife and children)
  • Apply for a new residence for your family members (after they have arrived in the UAE with a residence entry permit)
  • Renew residence permits for your family members 
  • Transfer your residence to your new passport
  • Check eForm application, residence application, residence and entry permit status
  • Apply for fee refund for refused applications and warranty refund for entry permits
  • Apply for cancelling resident for any sponsored under your sponsorship
  • Generate the “travel status report” and the list of people you sponsor (“sponsor and sponsored report”)

As a Dubai citizen, you additionally can:

  • Get an Entry Visa for domestic helpers (maids, nannies, etc.)
  • Request a new or renew UAE passport

Access for tourists arriving in Dubai

You can extend your on-arrival visa.

Access for companies registered in Dubai

  • Extend, renew or cancel an entry permit for anyone your organization sponsors before they enter the UAE 
  • Request Establishment Card or PRO card renewal
  • Request Establishment Card or PRO card in replacement of a Lost/damaged one
  • View the list of individuals your organization sponsors
  • Generate sponsor and sponsored report

GDRFA Smart Services login

To access the entirety of the GDRFA Smart Services portal, you may log in or register on the GDRFA Smart Services portal.

Smart GDRFA public services

You can easily access the following online public services available round the clock via the GDRFA website:

Citizenship and personal status services

  • Issuance of new passport
  • Passport renewal
  • Replacement of damaged/lost passport 
  • Issuance of statements
  • Issuance of a family book
  • Amendment of a family book
  • Replacement of a lost/damaged family book

Entry & return permits

  • Entry permit
  • Temporary work permit 
  • Sponsorship file (individual)

Residency services

  • Status adjustment
  • Residency visa
  • Renewal of residency visa
  • Data amendment of residency visa
  • Cancellation of residency visa
  • (Companion) family members in residency visa
  • Transfer of residency visa

Port services 

  • Marine port services
  • Airports control

Violator follow up

  • Circular about a sponsored person in the administrative list
  • Cancellation of a circular about a sponsored person in the administrative list
  • Exit permit 
  • Temporary closure
  • Fine collection
  • Issuance of statements 

Establishments support services

  • Issuance of establishment card
  • Renewal of establishment card
  • Adding a category to establishment card
  • Data amendment of establishment card
  • Ban
  • Issuance of representative’s card
  • Renewal of representative’s card
  • Data amendment of representative’s card
  • Cancellation of representative’s card
  • Cancellation of establishment card

You can easily track the application status of these requests by accessing the “Status Tracking” service. Simply provide details like the file/application number, mobile number, transaction details and view the current status of your application. 

GDRFA customer care centers

For some over-the-counter (OTC) services, you can head on over to the many GDRFA customer care centers scattered throughout Dubai as follows:

  • Alissely section
  • Almanara Center Section
  • Airport Services Center – Dubai Airport Terminal 3
  • Free Zone Section- Dubai International Airport
  • Hatta Section
  • Tawar Center Section

Smart GDRFA contact number

To get in touch directly with GDRFA, you may call them through their toll-free number 8005111 available 24/7. If you’re currently outside of the UAE, you can still contact GDRFA through +971 4 313 9999.

If you prefer to send an email instead, you can send your inquiries here [email protected].

Finally, GDRFA is also contactable through Amer Chat

Smart GDRFA app

These GDRFA services are also available via the GDRFA app on both iOS and Android platforms. This application provides you access to the most frequently required services of Dubai Immigration.


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