UAE visa amnesty to begin in August

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Visa violators will be able to fix their status without fear of repercussions.

An amnesty that will allow illegal residents in the UAE to settle their status or leave the country without facing fines or legal issues will begin in August, according to a government official.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced the initiative, dubbed “Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status”, earlier this week.

Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashedi, acting director-general of the Foreigners Affairs and Ports Department, told Gulf News the amnesty would begin on August 1 and run until October 31.

Visa violators will have the option to either rectify their status, or exit the country. If they choose to do the latter, any fees or fines they might have incurred as a result of their illegal stay will be waived.

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Al Rashedi said a toll free telephone number would be set up to deal with enquiries from members of the public about the amnesty.

The previous visa amnesty in 2013 ran for two months and saw more than 61,000 people correct their status.

ONE-YEAR VISA FOR REFUGEES

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, also adopted a resolution on Monday that will grant citizens of countries suffering from wars and natural disasters a one-year residency visa.

The visa – which is being offered to refugees “regardless of their condition of residence” – intends to offer those affected a chance to improve their living conditions until they are ready to return to their home countries.

The application period will also run from August 1 to October 31. Those who come forward during this time will not face legal consequences and will be exempt from any fines.

“The UAE reiterates its commitment to stand by the most vulnerable and needy people of the world as an active supporter of international peace and stability,” the UAE Cabinet said in a statement.

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