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UAE visa violators have until Nov 17 to legalise status

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 17, 2020 | Last updated on August 18, 2020 at 12.03 am
UAE, visa amnesty, scheme, illegal immigrants, extended, 3 months

(KT file photo)

All overstay fines will also be waived off provided the violators were leaving the country.

The short-term amnesty for people who have been living illegally in the UAE, after their visas expired before March 1, has been extended for a period of three months, authorities have announced.

State News Agency-WAM has quoted Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director General of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) saying that the scheme, which began on May 18, and was to end on August 18, will now run until November 17.

All overstay fines will also be waived off provided the violators were leaving the country.

The FAIC said the extension of the amnesty period is among a series of generous national initiatives by UAE leaders, through which they have prioritised the concern for humanity amidst the current challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.

Al Rashidi has called on offenders to utilise the opportunity and leave the country without facing penalties.

The amnesty applies to people who have been illegally staying in the country after their visas- visit, tourist or residency, had expired before March 1.

The scheme does not extend to visitors or tourists whose visas expired after March 1, or residents who have lost their jobs after March 1, and their residency visas had been canceled.

"Residents and visitors who have been staying illegally in the country before March 1, are exempted from all the fines if they leave the UAE," said Al Rashidi adding that no ban will be put on the offenders that prevents them from returning to the UAE.

According to authorities, offenders wanting to leave the UAE under the current amnesty scheme must have a valid passport and a flight ticket, taking them home as the only requirements.

Unlike in the previous amnesty schemes which required prior registration at amnesty centres, this time, the person seeking amnesty after their residency visa had expired have to go straight to the airport.

Amnesty seekers leaving through Dubai international airport must visit the immigration department at the terminals 48 hours before the flight time.

For those departing from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah airports, they must arrive six hours before their flight time.

Authorities had earlier said that amnesty seekers with dependents must ensure that all the family members leave together at the same time.

People of determination and children under 15 years of age were exempted from going through the amnesty process at the airports, officials had earlier announced.

A toll-free number (800 453) has been provided to help answer all questions related to the amnesty scheme. 


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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