Modify illegal residency status from Wednesday in UAE
Consular area set up at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs as part for the Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' initiative, which begins on August 1.
Dubai - "Amnesty is a gift from the UAE government to the people."
By Lujein Farhat
Published: Mon 30 Jul 2018, 11:21 PM
Last updated: Tue 14 Aug 2018, 1:50 PM
Preparations are in full swing to encourage illegal residents in the country to avail of the three-month long amnesty initiative, which will begin on Wednesday.
Special buses and health clinics for amnesty seekers as well as help for those from applicants from other emirates are some of the humanitarian steps the general directorate of residency and foreigners affairs (GDRFA) Dubai would be adopting during the 'Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' initiative, which will end on October 31.
The scheme not only allows illegals to exit the country without fines, but they are allowed to return to the UAE via legal channels after their departure.
While revealing details of the programme at a press conference on Sunday, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director general of the GDRFA Dubai, said:
"Amnesty is a gift from the UAE government to the people."
This would be the third such amnesty programme under the current GDRFA director, who enthused, "We need the help of the media to spread the word." When asked about applicants from other emirates, the director said that even though Al Aweer centre is devoted to applicants residing in Dubai, they will not turn away those who come seeking their assistance. Applicants should bring their Emirates IDs and passports.
A tour of Al Aweer facilities revealed several booths already set up in one tent, with the other tents' arrangements appear to be nearing completion. The GDRFA director added that the health clinic will also be open to service those who come to the amnesty tent. "These people are not working for themselves alone. They are humans, people who happened to be staying illegally here. They are not criminals."
Individuals who entered the UAE by legal means but have overstayed their visa or residency permits can avail of to rectify their status or exit the country without a ban.
Notably, this year's amnesty scheme also allows those who overstayed to either rectify their status or exit the country without having to pay penalties accrued for expired residency, Emirates ID, or labour card. Also, those who have an absconding case against them can close their case without recourse to their sponsor. The director also promised daily reports will be sent to the media so long as the privacy and confidential details of the persons involved is maintained.
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai will open a new bus line in conjunction with the amnesty programme, according to Brigadier-General Khalaf Al Ghaith, director-general assistant of follow-up sector of violators and foreigners at the GDRFA Dubai, For those on six-month temporary visa, Al Ghaith said that priority will be given for employment from this pool of applicants at the virtual labour market after registering with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) website.
If in this six month period they didn't find work and rectify their status, they must exit the country.
He added that consulates will work hand-in-hand with the GDRFA to facilitate paperwork allowing their nationals to exit the country in time. "We take pleasure in serving people," he said, adding that an open meeting was held with the consulate generals on the matter.
Those who do not leave the country after receiving the exit permit in 21 days time will be considered ineligible for the amnesty scheme and all fines will be reinstated. Also, individuals residing in one emirate but wish to rectify their status to reside in another emirate should follow up with the emirate of which they are seeking residency, according to Al Ghaith.
Besides the MoHRE, Dubai Police, National Ambulance, Civil Defence, RTA and Dubai Municipality are part of the one-stop service for illegal residents.