DUBAI // Many illegal residents waited until the last minute before applying for emergency certificates yesterday.
The Ethiopian consulate, which processes applications for the entire UAE, said as many as 250 of its nationals had turned up yesterday.
"We had a very big turnout," said Mesganu Arga Moach, the Ethiopian consul general in Dubai.
"We are still processing applications." The consulate processed 2,000 emergency certificates over the past two months.
The Sri Lankan consulate said although its doors were opened at the weekend a "few people" had visited the consulate yesterday to submit papers.
About 750 certificates were issued for its nationals.
The Indian centres also saw a "small number" of people applying for certificates yesterday. On Saturday, however, about 50 people requested emergency certificates.
"We have issued certificates for people who have applied yesterday, if there was no problem with their documentation," said MK Lokesh, the Indian ambassador.
"But if somebody was serious about leaving they should have come earlier."
More than 3,800 illegal Indian nationals were issued certificates.
Some, like Raj Mohammed, 52, had received their out pass but were waiting to raise money for tickets. They said the dates on their out-passes promised more time.
"I don't have a ticket yet," said Mr Mohammed, a cook who had been working illegally for four years. "I have to collect money for it."
Abdul Kader said that the charity organisation, Dubai's Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), was trying to help him.
"I am waiting for KMCC to give me tickets. My out pass deadline is February 7.
"If I don't get tickets by then, I will take a loan," said Mr Kader, 48, who had worked in a cafeteria illegally for the past two years.