UAE Launches 3-Month Visa Amnesty Programme For Foreign Workers Having Overstayed Their Permit

| August 2 , 2018 , 15:02 IST

In a major relief to hundreds of illegal immigrants and foreign workers who have overstayed their work permit in the country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government launched a three-month visa amnesty programme on Wednesday. 

Under this programme, illegal migrants or foreign workers who overstayed their work permit in the UAE will return back to their homes without paying any fines for overstaying illegally in the country and granted with a six months visa to find a new job.

At least 2.8 million Indians are working in the UAE of which only 15 to 20 percent are professionally qualified, followed by 20 percent white-collar non-professionals.

About 65 percent of blue-collar Indian workers in the UAE will get the benefit from the amnesty programme if they overstayed their work permit.

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Though the government has not released any specific list of Blue-collar workers in the UAE, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Nepal are among the top countries whose Blue-collar workers are most in UAE.

UAE has set up nine immigration centers across the country to finally resolve the legal status of illegal immigrants in the country.

In a press release, Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has invited the embassies and diplomatic missions approved in the UAE to cooperate with it in implementing "Protect Yourself by Changing Your Status" initiative, which will be launched from August 1st until the end of October.

"It aims at changing the status of the violators of Law of Entry and Residency of foreigners in the State by exempting them from the fines and legal consequences that resulted from the violation and enable them to change their status or leave the state with ease," the statement said.

It is third amnesty programme announced by the UAE government in just over a decade.