UAE Amnesty 2018

Illegal UAE resident gets outpass as GDRFA learns she lost son

Amira Agarib /Dubai Filed on August 9, 2018 | Last updated on August 9, 2018 at 06.32 am
Illegal UAE resident gets outpass as GDRFA learns she lost son

She wanted to be home in time to bury her youngest son, who died in an accident.

An illegal Filipina resident was desperate to leave the UAE after availing of the visa amnesty scheme as she had lost her son to an accident in her home country. She wanted to be home in time to bury her youngest son, who died in the accident on Sunday.

After Khaleej Times brought Maria Isabelle's plight to the notice of the authorities, the Sharjah immigration department swung into action and processed her papers in under an hour. She will travel back home later today.

When Team KT was at the tent set up outside the General Directorate Of Residency And Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Sharjah, Isabelle could be seen crying. When we approached her, she said she had lost her 23-year-old son and was desperate to see him one last time before his burial. We took her to the director of the department of entry permits and residence at GDRFA-Sharjah, Colonel Hazeem Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who was out on rounds to ensure smooth work flow at the amnesty tents.

When the officer heard the woman's story, he accompanied her to expedite the process of issuing an exit pass for her. Colonel Al Suwaidi said helping people is such cases was a part of his humanitarian duty.

Isabelle landed in the UAE in 2008 and worked as a nanny in Abu Dhabi legally till 2014. She went to her home country and returned on a visit visa. Unfortunately, she could not find any employment and had to return. She kept coming back to the country on a visit visa.

"During my last visit, I overstayed my visa. About 10 months later, I found a job and a sponsor willing to give me a visa. However, I could not get the visa stamped because of pending immigration fines. That was when this amnesty was announced. My plan was to regularise my status and get the visa stamped," she said.

That's when tragedy stuck. She received the devastating news that her son had died in the accident.

"I have two other children. Three days before he died, my son had called me to say he missed me. He wanted me to buy a mobile phone for him," Isabelle said, with tears rolling down her face.

She lauded the UAE government for the amnesty scheme and the GDRFA-Sharjah for expediting the process to issue her an outpass. She said she has "beautiful memories from the UAE and its good people".

Amira Agarib

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