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Can banned former UAE residents avail visa amnesty scheme? Read this

Amira Agarib /Sharjah
amira@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 7, 2018 | Last updated on August 7, 2018 at 06.26 am
Can banned former UAE residents avail visa amnesty scheme? Read this

(M.Sajjad/KT)

A lot of people approached immigration and submitted applications to lift their entry ban.

Former residents banned by the UAE authorities are not eligible to submit applications to lift their ban as part of the ongoing 'Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' initiative, a senior official told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

Colonel Ali Amin Mohammed, director of the amnesty centres and establishment at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Sharjah confirmed that the amnesty programme, which will run until October 31, was designed for those who have overstayed and are residing illegally in the country.

He said that violators who are currently residing in UAE can benefit from the initiative and will have the chance to leave the country without paying fines for overstaying.

He said a lot of people approached the Sharjah immigration and Residency department on Sunday and submitted applications to lift the entry ban on former residents so that they can reenter the country on new visa under the ongoing amnesty.

Col. Ali said: "We explained to them that it is a different separate issue and we have to abide by the UAE cabinet decision in this regard which has not stipulated that a previous resident can apply and could lift bans issued against those who violated the resident law in the past."

He added that violators can visit the Sharjah immigration authorities, which will lift the absconding report and issue exit permit and they can leave the country without ban as per amnesty which started on August 1.

"People who have been blacklisted and also those who have legal and pending police cases against them cannot avail of the amnesty programme. We cannot lift the ban, they have to contact the legal authorities and clear their problems to benefit from the amnesty programme," he added.

While talking about people who sought status change, he said that the Sharjah immigration and residence department on Sunday helped an Arab woman who has two daughters aged 8 and 6. She has been trying to sponsor them as part of a humanitarian programme, but now she benefited from the amnesty and was able to sponsor her two daughters ,

He further explained that previous residents who were convicted in criminals cases and deported by courts also cannot utilise the amnesty programme. They can apply for a new visa at the immigration offices.

He added that the amnesty programme comes along with other initiatives, which include 48-hour transit visas for travellers, six-month visas for job seekers and one-year visas for widows, divorcees, and people from war-torn countries.

He confirmed that no action will be taken against residents violators during amnesty and they will be provided by all kind of help to modify their status.

amira@khaleejtimes.com

Amira Agarib


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