UAE launches amnesty programme for foreign workers overstaying permits

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently launched a landmark 3-month visa amnesty programme which will benefit hundreds of illegal foreign workers, including Indians, overstaying their permits by allowing them to leave the country without penalties and giving them six months to find a job. The UAE is home to 2.8 million Indian expatriates, the largest expatriate community in the country. Professionally qualified personnel constitute about 15 to 20% of the community, followed by 20% white-collar non-professionals and the remainder 65% comprises blue-collar workers. The government did not release specific numbers, but says thousands of people, primarily labourers from countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and the Philippines, will benefit from the amnesty scheme which will facilitate their smooth return to their home countries. As per Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the entity responsible for entry and residence of foreigners in the UAE, visa violators before August 1, 2018 will be able to rectify their status legally during the amnesty period, which will end on October 31.

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