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KT edit: A reason to cheer

Filed on November 17, 2020

In the absence of a social safety net in the UAE, it is only fair that people leave when they are unable to secure a residency permit

The extension of the visa fine waiver scheme in the UAE is offering relief and safe passage to people who are caught in immigration limbo. There are many who have continued to stay in the UAE despite the expiry of their visas, in violation to the residency laws. It can understandably be a tough call to make when people are looking for better work opportunities or simply want to stay here longer. The UAE’s safe environment makes it among the most sought-after places to work and live in. The lure of a better quality of life, an open and progressive society, and tax-free income are hard to dismiss after all. But in the absence of a social safety net in the UAE, it is only fair that people leave when they are unable to secure a residency permit. The authorities are allowing violators to exit with dignity, without attracting stiff penalties, which can be as high as Dh300 per week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended lives and affected our personal and professional wellbeing. It has made us anxious and unsure of the opportunities. But let despair not cloud our judgements. It would be unwise to bide one’s time and continue to stay in the UAE illegally. Residents and visitors who have long overstayed their permitted time should pay heed to the call of the government to leave and board a flight to their home countries, if there is one. Several embassies and NGOs are there to help. Just ask for it.





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