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UAE amnesty to begin in August

UAE amnesty to begin in August

The last amnesty, allowing illegal residents in the country to correct their status, was more than five years ago

An official amnesty period allowing illegal UAE residents to correct their status and work legally will begin in August, an official has said.

The ‘protect yourself by modifying your status’ campaign follows the adoption of new visa rules last week by the UAE Cabinet allowing those that overstay their visa to leave the country voluntarily without receiving a ‘no entry’ stamp and introducing a new visa category for job seekers.

Read: UAE announces new visa rules for residents, jobseekers and tourists

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said earlier this week that the upcoming amnesty would allow illegal residents to correct their status without having any legal consequences, while also exempting them from overstay fines.

Director general of the Foreign Affairs and Ports Department, brigadier general Saeed Rakan Al-Rashdi, told Gulf News in an update on Thursday that the amnesty would begin on August 1.

Read: UAE amnesty will allow illegal residents to work

Those that can benefit will include domestic workers who have run away from their sponsors and illegal immigrants. Al-Rashdi previously indicated that those in the second category, who entered the country through unofficial channels, would face a two-year ban before they could return.

Others wishing to amend their status will be able to do so without fines and nominal fees.

The official called on violators, sponsors and members of the public to take advantage of the amnesty period, “which is distinguished from the initiatives that were previously launched in that it provides an opportunity for the offender to get a job and is inside the country without having to leave and return again”.

It has been more than five years since the last UAE amnesty in 2013, which saw more than 61,000 people correct their status.

Read: Over 61,000 Illegal Residents Leave UAE On Amnesty

A separate one-year visa scheme for nationals of countries affected by war or disasters was also announced on Monday.

Read: UAE announces one-year visa for refugees

Al-Rashdi said the visa would be granted to people form war-torn countries, including Syria, Libya and Yemen, who face difficulty returning home.

It will be available to those who arrive in the UAE on a visit, tourist or employment visa and are left stranded.

“These people will also be exempt from overstay fines,” he was quoted as saying.

A similar scheme was also announced this week for female divorcees and widows who were on their husband’s dependent visa.

They too will be exempt from overstay fines.

Read: UAE to grant divorced, widowed foreign women one-year visa

Officials said the UAE had processed 25,000 humanitarian visas over two years.

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