UAE visa amnesty extended by one month
The extension will begin from December 2 and will be valid for one month.
The amnesty scheme for illegal residents in the UAE has been extended for another one month on the occasion of the UAE National Day.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) on Monday issued the statement, giving amnesty seekers another 30 days until December 31, to avail of the scheme.
The processing of amnesty applications will continue from Tuesday, December 4.
The UAE leadership is keen to give the applicants an opportunity to modify their status and get job opportunities in UAE, a senior officer at Sharjah immigration confirmed to Khaleej Times.
Immigration centres across the UAE will begin to look into applications of amnesty seekers who had already started the procedures. Those applicants will get a chance to complete their procedures.
Diplomatic missions have told Khaleej Times that they are coordinating with officials and the extension period will give law violating residents more time to modify their status.
A Bangladeshi worker Hashim said that he was happy about the news of extension as many people want to amend their status and avail amnesty but some of them have not yet received their passport to complete their procedures.
Tegez, an Ethiopian maid said that she did not get her passport after waiting and she is happy that an extension was announced. She will now be able to legalise her status, she noted.
A 'generous initiative' to mark UAE National Day
"The authority will on Tuesday continue to welcome people wishing to avail of the amnesty initiative at the nine registration centers across the UAE so that they can rectify their status," the FAIC said in a statement.
The "Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status" initiative that granted a three-month grace period for illegal residents to modify their status or leave the UAE without facing fines or legal issues started on August 1 until October 31, 2018. But the authority extended the amnesty scheme for a month which was supposed to end on November 30, 2018, after the expiry of the extension.
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Acting Director-General of Foreigners and Ports Affairs at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said the decision to extend the deadline for another month comes as a "generous initiative" to mark the country's 47th anniversary.
"The extension of the amnesty initiative is a generous gesture from the UAE leaders which is also characterized by their keenness for humanity and supporting people," said Al Rashidi.
"This is a generous offering from a dignified leadership that enhances the UAE's security, safety and tolerance."
Al Rashidi added: "This second extension will offer greater chance to all those still living in the UAE illegally to fully legalise their status."
The officer said the FIAC had earlier extended the amnesty scheme for 30 day because there was some delay in processing applications at the start of the amnesty period due to some technical issues.
"Extending the deadline also helps counteract the effect of the delay some amnesty seekers may have faced," said Brig. Al Rashidi adding that some embassies and consulates from a few countries were unable to issue or process documents in a timely fashion, causing further delays.
He asked consulates and embassies to fully cooperate and push for greater efficiency in processing the documents for their citizens in time.
The amnesty initiative, which allows illegal residents to regulate their status or leave the country without facing legal issues, was intended to provide decent opportunities for those looking for social and economic stability in the country, according to Al Rashid.
People seeking employment after regularizing their status can avail of the privilege to obtain a six-month temporary visa.
The amnesty initiative also grants a one-year-residence visa to families of people from the war-torn countries including Yemen and Syria without restrictions attached. The visa - which will be offered to the refugees regardless of their condition of residence, is intended to offer those affected a chance to improve their living conditions until they are ready to return to their home countries, said officials
According to the FAIC, the amnesty is availed to all kinds of illegal residents in the UAE including workers and families overstaying residence visas, people overstaying visit visas and those that entered the country illegally without visas.
Authorities earlier warned that intensive campaigns will be conducted across the country to crackdown on the violators of residence laws after the end of the amnesty initiative and that those caught living illegally in the UAE will face tough penalties.
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