government

UAE amnesty 2018: Most amnesty-seekers want to remain in UAE, says official

Those without passports urged to approach their embassies and bring documents to prove identity

Anwar Ahmad, Staff Reporter
19:02 August 9, 2018
Mohammad Al Kaabi

Abu Dhabi: The majority of amnesty applicants at Al Shahama centre in Abu Dhabi have applied to regularise their residency status and stay back in the country, a senior official from the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship told Gulf News on Thursday.

Residency violators include absconders, tourist/visit visa violators, overstayers after their residency period expired and people with no passports.

Residency status

Speaking to Gulf News, the official, who did not want to be named, said, “It’s been one week since the amnesty period started and now we are more organised and serving a large number of people every day. So far, we have observed that most of them are willing to correct their residency status and remain in the UAE.

“We are providing them all support to avail of the benefits of amnesty which will continue till October 31,” he said.

On Wednesday, officials said a total of 10,797 people have applied for amnesty since August 1 at Al Aweer and Amer centres in Dubai.

In Abu Dhabi, the official said many people are turning up at Al Shahama centre without any identification documents. “So, it takes time for us to find out their names and nationalities in our system. It’s a difficult task to search without any documentation,” he explained.

Most of the women amnesty-seekers are maids who ran away

“But it’s easy for such amnesty-seekers to visit their embassies to bring a copy of their passports or any legal certified document that verifies their identity. Then they can come to us to check in our system about their status and [we can] provide them clearance papers,” the federal official said.

Most of the women amnesty-seekers are maids who ran away from their sponsors and don’t possess their passports. They are willing to stay back after regularising their status, he said.

Applicants who lost their passports after they absconded less than a year ago can visit Al Shahama centre, he said.

“They can come to the tent and we would have their passports. However, those who absconded earlier can visit their respective embassies to collect the passports,” he said.

Officials deployed at the centre first examine applicants’ residency status and accordingly advise them to approach the appropriate centres because Al Shahama centre only accepts applications from those who want to obtain exit permit to leave the country and receive their passports, he said.

New permits

“Those who to want rectify their status are required to visit the typing or Tasheel centres to apply for new residency permits. At Tasheel centres, they can apply for new residency permits with new sponsors and their fines will be waived,” the official said.

He reminded families not to bring children who are less than 15 years old to the centre as their presence is not required.

“It’s very hot outside, they don’t need to bring the children, we would help them resolve their matter,” he said.