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UAE further extends amnesty for illegal residents

UAE further extends amnesty for illegal residents

The extension means the initial three-month amnesty period will now span five months

The UAE has extended an amnesty period for illegal residents despite reports indicating it would not do so.

Last week, Khaleej Times cited an official from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) as saying a November 30 deadline for the ‘Protect Yourself by Adjusting Your Status’ initiative would not be extended further.

Read: UAE says amnesty will not be extended further

However, the authority announced a further extension to December 31 on Monday as part of the country’s 47th National Day celebrations.

This will mean the scheme, which was launched on August 1 and intended to last five months, will now be extended to five.

Acting director general of foreigners and ports affairs at the FAIC, brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, said the extension came after the authority received “many calls” from people unable to complete their amnesty procedures.

“These calls were directed to the country’s leadership, who immediately responded and extended the initiative,” he told state news agency WAM.

The amnesty is the first to allow violators, including those reported for absconding, to leave the country without any charges or fines. Those wishing to stay can change their status for a small fee, while people who entered the country illegally can leave with a two-year ban from returning.

Applicants can also sign up for a new jobseekers visa allowing them to stay in the country for six months.

Among the beneficiaries of the scheme during the opening weeks was a family based in Ajman, which had Dhs3m ($816,735) of overstay fines cleared.

Read: UAE-based family cleared of Dhs3m of fines under amnesty

Nine centres are open across the country from 8:00am to 8:00pm to handle amnesty requests.

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