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Dubai visa overstays more than double

Dubai visa overstays more than double

The sharp increase in overstays has been linked to job losses and other factors

UAE residence visa

Dubai has reportedly seen a spike in people overstaying their residency visas this year amid job losses in the wider economy.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) said about 25,000 people had overstayed their visa from the start of January to October from around 12,000 for the whole of 2016, according to The National.

Of those found to have overstayed this year, around 11,000 have applied to a humanitarian committee, which has the power to reduce or cancel fines if an adequate reason is given. The majority of these cases (9,000) received a fine reduction or cancellation.

“Sometimes, people experience harsh situations that are beyond their control. We have to listen to them and consider these conditions,” GDRFA director general, major general Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, was quoted as saying.

“We give an opportunity for illegal residents to come to the department to apply for a pardon and acquire information about the procedures that they need to follow, to remove the fines against them and renew their residential visas.”

An official from the Indian Embassy in the UAE told the publication that the number of nationals with residency visa issues had increased this year.

He said this was due to both employers leaving the country without cancelling their employees’ visas and other job losses.

Job growth in the UAE has remained relatively stagnant this year despite signs of improving economic conditions.

Read: UAE private sector sees strongest quarter in two years

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