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UAE amnesty extension: Violators hail government's initiative

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on August 18, 2020 | Last updated on August 18, 2020 at 06.09 am
UAE amnesty extension, Violators, hail, government initiative

(KT file photo)

Short-term amnesty for visa violators, whose papers have expired before March 1, will be extended.

Residents and visitors with expired UAE visas have hailed the latest government decision that gave them three more months to legalise their status or leave the country.

Authorities have confirmed that the short-term amnesty for visa violators, whose papers have expired before March 1, will be extended.

Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, director-general of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), said the scheme - which began on May 18 and was supposed to end on August 18 - will now run until November 17.

SV Reddy, a social worker, said: "We have been getting 'out passes' for many people who have no proper paperwork or passports.

"Earlier, the government gave an extension for one month and now it's for three months. It's a huge relief for many people who were scared as they did not have proper documents."

Reddy said a number of people who have not been able to go home for years are now taking this opportunity to finally be with their families.

"Our association has been working relentlessly to help such people and now we have more time to do it."

Srikanth Sudappatti, a cleaner from Telangana, said he could now heave a sigh of relief as he gets ready to come home to his wife and mother, whom he hadn't seen for a year.

"We have time to leave now. Our outpasses and other paper work are being processed. Now, we don't have to rush to leave the country. Earlier, I was quite worried, thinking what if we get caught and face penalties? I have no job and no money."

Ravindrakumar Manjhi was also desperate and unsure about what he had to do next - until he heard the news, which gave him hope. "I came to the UAE a year ago. The agent who got me here as a plumber ran away with my passport and left us fending for ourselves even without a job. The landlord asked me to vacate the room where I was living. I started living in a mosque in Ajman before I was picked up by a social worker's team. I am so glad that the amnesty has been granted for another three months." 

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