Crackdown on illegals from Thursday

ABU DHABI - About 70,000 expatriates living in the country illegally have sought permission so far to leave the country under a general amnesty granted by the UAE government, and a senior official said in Abu Dhabi yesterday that an intensive inspection campaign would be launched after the expiry of the amnesty on April 30 to round up illegals remaining in the country.

By Nada S. Mussallam

Published: Sun 27 Apr 2003, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:03 PM

Brigadier Hader Khalaf Al Muhairi, Director of the General Directorate of Naturalisation and Residency Department (NRD), told Khaleej Times that the response to the general pardon was poor and that his department, in coordination with Abu Dhabi police, had prepared a comprehensive plan to crack down on violators of the country's residence laws.

Brig. Muhairi said that as decided by the federal cabinet, April 30 remained the deadline for illegals to leave and the amnesty would not be extended.

"Now foreigners staying illegally in the country or those with invalid visa status should have no excuse for not leaving the country, since Naturalisation and Residency Departments have facilitated exit procedures and made all possible arrangements to facilitate their departure," said Brig. Muhairi.

He said 120 days were enough for the illegals to hand themselves over to amnesty centres set up by the Ministry of Interior in different parts of the country to streamline the departure procedure.

He said that criminal laboratories had been making all efforts to avoid delays, resulting from the use of advanced systems for eye scanning and finger-printing while issuing outpasses.

Brig. Muhairi also said that applicants would not be affected in case screening results were delayed, provided they submitted their documents before April 30.

"The department has been keen to secure the rights of all illegals, who seek to avail amnesty before the deadline, even if their papers were not finalised by the expiry of the deadline," said Brig. Muhairi, adding that those who fell in this category would be allowed to stay in the country until their outpasses were issued.

Brig. Muhairi said that under the directives of Dr Mohammed bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Interior, and Major-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, illegals should be provided with all necessary requirements in processing their documents to obtain outpasses.

Responding to a question whether the government intended to offer amnesty at intervals, Brig. Muhairi said the ministry would not pass a third general amnesty following 2003 grace period and that of late 1996.

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