6-month job-seeker visa in UAE no longer available
Officials say the visa scheme ended on December 31, when the amnesty period got over.
By Sherouk Zakaria
Published: Sun 13 Jan 2019, 10:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 12:57 PM
The six-month jobseekers visa scheme, made available to violators seeking the UAE amnesty programme, ended on December 31, officials clarified.
Both Amer and General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) centres have recently been flooded with enquiries and calls about the six-month temporary visa scheme for unemployed residents.
But officials have clarified that as of now, the scheme ended when the amnesty was over on December 31. There has been no official announcement yet about the new temporary visa scheme for unemployed residents.
The amnesty programme, which was extended twice before finally ending on December 31, allowed violators to modify their residency status by getting a new-sponsored valid visa or applying for a six-month temporary employment visa.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, an official at a branch of Amer centre in Dubai said the six-month visa was only available for violators during the amnesty period. "Only those who committed visa violations before August 1 were granted that option. The visa scheme neither includes visa violators after the mentioned date nor unemployed residents seeking a new job."
Another Amer centre official also noted that the scheme is no longer implemented after amnesty. "It was only applicable during the amnesty period for violators."
The UAE temporary six-month visa was only applicable to residents with visa violations before August 1, 2018 as part of the of amnesty programme that the UAE Government ran from August 1 to December 31, to give individuals the opportunity to legalise their status or leave the country without paying overstaying fines.
However, a new six-month visa, announced last June by the UAE Cabinet as part of a legislative package of visa facilitations, will soon be extended for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The new visa scheme that will allow unemployed residents to stay in the country to look for a job, however, has not yet been implemented by the authorities.
A new 6-month visa might be introduced soon
Earlier in June, UAE Cabinet announced major changes and new visa facilitation procedures for visitors, residents, families and people overstaying their visas. Among them was the decision to introduce a new six-month visa for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The temporary visa is meant to enhance the UAE's position as a land of opportunities and a destination for talents and professionals.
The legislative package also included the new insurance scheme for workers that replaced the Dh3,000 deposit per worker with a new Dh60 insurance policy starting from mid-October 2018.
Under the new legislation, the government will also grant people overstaying their visa a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a "no entry" passport stamp. Individuals who entered the UAE illegally will have the chance to leave voluntarily with a "no entry" stamp for two years if they provide a valid return ticket. Individuals will also be able to adjust or renew their visa for a fee without having to leave and re-enter the country soon.