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UAE-based family cleared of Dhs3m of fines under amnesty

UAE-based family cleared of Dhs3m of fines under amnesty

The man’s wife had been living country illegally for 34 years

A UAE-based family has had overstay fines of Dhs3m ($816,735) cleared under the country’s current amnesty period for illegal residents.

The National reports that Najm Al Hasan Abdul Rashid, who is originally from Myanmar but carries a Bangladeshi passport, arrived in the UAE in 1996 to live and work legally.

However, his 38-year-old Pakistani wife Noorjahan had been living in the country without the required documentation, including a birth certificate and passport, for 34 years.

“Her parents lived in the UAE legally, but, god forgive them and bless their souls, they didn’t issue her with the documents she needed before they passed away,” Rashid, 46, was quoted as saying.

Subsequently the couple was unable to get documentation for their four daughters and were forced to home school them after being rejected by a number of schools.

Rashid was only able to get a passport for his wife from the Pakistani Embassy five years ago. The embassy later issued documentation for his daughters but he then faced huge overstay fines due to the length of their stay in the country illegally.

“I heard about the amnesty in the news and knew it was going to be my saviour,” he said.

The man approached immigration officers in Ajman and was instructed to fill in the amnesty forms to legalise his status, despite being informed his family had accrued fines of Dhs3m.

He is now awaiting documentation to sponsor his wife and daughters.

The three-month amnesty, which is the country’s first in five years, has particularly lenient terms for those seeking to work in the country legally and will last until October 31.

Read: Over 10,700 illegal expats apply for UAE amnesty in first week

For the first time, visa violators and absconders will be able to move to another employer or a new jobseekers visa category without having to leave the country.

People in these categories that choose to leave the UAE during the period will also be exempt from fines and fees and won’t receive a no entry stamp.

In addition, those that entered the UAE illegally have the opportunity to leave the country and only receive a two-year ban before they can return.

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