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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

UAE extends visa amnesty scheme by a month

The chance for residents who have overstayed their visas or entered the country illegally to modify their status will now end on December 1

Residents who have overstayed their visa or worked without wait to seen at the visa amnesty centre in Al Raha Mall. Victor Besa / The National
Residents who have overstayed their visa or worked without wait to seen at the visa amnesty centre in Al Raha Mall. Victor Besa / The National

The UAE's visa amnesty scheme has been extended until December 1, the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship announced on Tuesday.

The initiative, which began in August, allows residents who have overstayed their visas or people who entered the country illegally to modify their status with the government, to either return home or legally extend their stay without fear of fine or imprisonment.

Those who hope to leave the country will be exempt of all fines, regardless of their value, and will not be issued a deprivation stamp. Those wishing to stay can change their status for a nominal fee.

Brig Saeed Al Rashdi, acting director general of Foreign Affairs and Ports at the authority, said the decision to extend the deadline is part of the UAE leadership's directives to give people living without legal status in the country a new lease on life, reported state news agency Wam.

He said the authority established nine centres around the country to assist with visa amnesty proceedings, including in Al Aweer in Dubai and Al Shahama, Al Ain and Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi, as well as in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain.

Brig Al Rashdi warned that, after the grace period, the government will begin intensive search campaigns to prosecute offenders with legal procedures brought against them.

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