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Two overstaying Filipina expats seek amnesty in UAE

Angel Tesorero
Filed on July 30, 2018 | Last updated on July 30, 2018 at 08.08 pm
Leah, 30, said a good future is already waiting for her in the UAE, after she’s done rectifying her residency status.- Supplied photo
Leah, 30, said a good future is already waiting for her in the UAE, after she's done rectifying her residency status.- Supplied photo

One of them is planning of going back home to the Philippines and the other will stay, with a good job already waiting for her.


Two overstaying Filipina expats can't wait for August 1 to come. For them it will be the dawn of a new day - a chance to reboot their lives and look forward to a better future.

Both of them said that they will be in front of the line for those who will seek general immigration amnesty. One of them is planning of going back home to the Philippines and the other will stay, with a good job already waiting for her.

As soon as she gets an exit pass for herself and her four-month-old baby, Jamila, 26, said she will pack their bags and go back home. Khaleej Times first published Jamila's story on July 23. Her baby has no passport because her Pakistani husband, who physically and mentally abused her, did not just abandon them but also took all of the baby's legal documents.

Jamila gave birth to her child on March 18 and the 120-day grace period to register her baby has already lapsed. This means that she has been accumulating a Dh100 fine every day since then. But her bigger problem is that her husband, whom she is filing a divorce from, has been threatening to take the baby away from her.

"For as long as I am in Dubai, there is always the threat looming that my husband will take my baby away from me," Jamila told Khaleej Times on Monday. "He had done it once - he ran away with my baby after we took him (baby) to the clinic for check-up," she added.

"Good thing I got help from the Sharjah Family and Child Protection authorities and I was able to get my baby back immediately. But I fear that he will do that again," Jamila said.

Throughout her pregnancy, Jamila's husband did not support her. Worse, he had an illicit affair with a married Pakistani woman. Jamila did not get any apology after confronting her husband regarding the affair, but instead she found herself at the receiving end of her husband's heavy hands.

"I was really afraid of my husband. He even told me that he knew where to hurt her to avoid the appearance of any bruises. He always hit me on the head," Jamila said.

But she has put all of that in the past now. Jamila is standing up for herself and her baby. Fortunately also, on the day Khaleej Times published her story, a generous businessman approached her and provided her with some kind of financial assistance.

"The good Samaritan came to our house and brought supplies, including milk, stroller, playpen, diapers and clothes for my baby. The following day, he returned and discussed the arrangements on how we can go back to my family in the Philippines," Jamila added.

"Now, we are readying ourselves for our trip back home and hopefully a better and more stable future awaits us," she shared.

Meanwhile, another overstaying Filipina, Leah, 30, said a good future is already waiting for her in the UAE, after she's done rectifying her residency status.

A victim of illegal recruitment, she came to the UAE in January 2017 on a tourist visa for which she paid Dh3,500. It was processed by a Filipina whom she had met on social media.

Leah left the Philippines with no proper orientation. She was initially promised to work as a staff for a cleaning agency but ended up working for an Arab family in Abu Dhabi with four very young children - a newborn, a one-year-old, a two-year-old and a four-year-old.

"I didn't expect that I would be made to work as much- to take care of four young children. I was shocked and disoriented and it was right then that I asked to be returned to the recruitment agency," Leah told Khaleej Times.

""Then I worked for another Arab family but the brother-in-law of my lady employer tried to sexually molest me. I had no choice but to run away," said Leah, who revealed that she had suffered from a prior sexual abuse when she was working as a domestic worker in Riyadh before coming to the UAE.

Leah absconded in March last year. She was illegally working part-time but fortunately found a good American employer, married to a Filipina. Her kababayan (compatriot) offered to rectify her visa status but she said that the Immigration authorities in Abu Dhabi would not allow this unless she had settled her absconding case. She was also told to return to the Philippines.

Fortunately the 90-day amnesty which starts from August 1, will give her a chance to settle her immigration problem without the need of leaving the country.

"I came to the UAE to seek a better future for my family back home. I had two unfortunate instances and had no choice but to become an illegal. But the country in general is very generous. A good job as a domestic worker is awaiting me. I'm expecting to receive at least Dh2,500 (more than the Dh1,500 monthly salary prescribed by  the Philippine government), with assured two days off per week and periodic bonuses," Leah detailed.

"The first thing I will do is to get the necessary legal documents from our embassy and then head out to the nearest Immigration centre in Abu Dhabi. I believe that a bright new day awaits me," she concluded.

angel@khaleejtimes.com





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