August 1, 2018 09:08 AM NPT
Photo Courtesy: Agencies
UAE, Aug 1: The UAE's much-publicised visa amnesty begins today with thousands of undocumented workers expected to attend specialist immigration centres set up to assist with their queries.
The three-month scheme will allow anyone who has overstayed their work or residency visa the opportunity to either legalise their status in the country or return home.
Individuals wishing to take advantage of the programme — which runs until October 31 — can visit any of nine centres dedicated to the amnesty, including those in Al Shahama in Abu Dhabi and Al Aweer in Dubai.
Those wanting to return home will be allowed to do so without paying the fines usually required for overstaying, and without facing the possible threat of a jail term.
The full list of immigration centres set up to process those seeking assistance include offices in Shahama, Al Ain and Al Gharbia in Abu Dhabi and Al Aweer in Dubai. The remaining five offices will be in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain.
This week, authorities warned anyone currently in the county illegally to take full advantage of the amnesty and ensure that they resolve any ambiguity over their right to remain. Embassy officials stressed their staff were there to help, while a number of community associations also said they would be on hand to help those most in need.
Here are some of the details you need to know about the amnesty:
How long can those opting to alter their visa status stay in the country to look for a job?
A six-month temporary visa will be issued to individuals looking for employment.
Will those who entered the country illegally be given amnesty?
Yes, but they will be instructed to leave the country and banned from returning for two years.
Can individuals with criminal cases against them apply for amnesty?
No. Anyone with criminal cases against them or who have been previously banned from obtaining a visa is not eligible.
Can people with absconding reports apply for the amnesty?
Yes. Immigration authorities will delete any absconding reports and issue an exit permit without a ban.
What documents are required to apply for an exit permit?
Residents need to submit either their original passport or an Emergency Certificate. A valid airline ticket out of the country must also be provided.
Can residents without passports apply for the amnesty?
What is the fee for applying for an exit permit?
What is the fee for modifying residency status?
What is the time period allowed to leave the country after receiving an exit permit?
Those given exit permits are required to leave within 10 days of its issue.
What benefits will the amnesty provide to those from war-torn countries such as Syria or Yemen?
Individuals will be granted a one-year residence visa without restrictions.