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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Visa amnesty continues on Sunday for residents in legal limbo

Numbers expected to rise as information about the process spreads

Amnesty applicants turned out in force again at Al Aweer immigration centre. Antonie Robertson / The National
Amnesty applicants turned out in force again at Al Aweer immigration centre. Antonie Robertson / The National

Thousands of people who have overstayed their visas are expected in immigration centres on Sunday as word spreads that the process is allowing residents to leave the UAE or remain and search for a job.

The visa centres will open at 8am to accept applications from amnesty seekers eager to leave the UAE without paying overstay penalties.

Thousands of residents with expired visas visited the Al Aweer immigration centre in Dubai and Al Shahama in Abu Dhabi from Wednesday, when the scheme began.

The centres run from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.

Others are located in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Al Ain and Al Dafra in Abu Dhabi.

Residents who have misplaced their passports must obtain a travel document from the consulate before filing their applications to leave. The amnesty programme will continue until October 31.

Officials from the country's immigration department, along with diplomats from several countries, have described the amnesty as the final chance for people without legal residency to legalise their status.

Consular staff from countries including India, Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have set up desks at immigration centres to help their nationals through the process of filing papers and securing an exit pass to leave the country.

Immigration officials have said they expect the numbers to rise over the next few weeks as word spreads that those staying without legal documents can return home to their family without paying overstay fines.

Residents are required to show air tickets booked to their home country and leave within 10 days of obtaining an exit document from the immigration centre.

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Read more:

UAE visa amnesty: teenager, 18, has Dh1m fine waived after living whole life in Dubai without residency

Hundreds turn out as UAE's three-month visa amnesty begins

'Final chance' for UAE's illegal residents as amnesty approaches

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