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UAE amnesty 2018: ‘Tens of millions of dirhams’ in residency fines waived in Dubai

Dubai: A total of 10,797 people have applied for amnesty since August 1 at Al Aweer and Amer centres and officials are urging people who have cancelled their resident visas without changing their status to act quickly before amnesty ends on October 31.

Cancelled residence visa-holders must leave the country or get a new visa, otherwise previous overstay fines will be reimposed on them, said senior officers in a press conference on Wednesday.

Brigadier Khalaf Al Gaith, assistant director-general, Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section in Dubai, said Al Aweer centre has waived fines amounting to tens of millions of dirhams.

Fines

“Fines were waived for 2,809 applicants who had cancelled their residence visas without changing their status. We have asked them to get new sponsors or visas to change their status in the country (before the amnesty period expires). If they don’t, the cancelled fines will be back in their records after the last day of amnesty on October 31,” Brig Al Gaith said.

After the amnesty period, people who stay illegally after coming on visit visas will continue to pay Dh100 per day for fines. People with expired residence visas will pay Dh25 per day.

Al Aweer centre has also issued 2,459 outpasses to applicants seeking to leave the country without paying fines so far.

As many as 3,422 people applied to renew their visas at Amer centres while another 2,107 applied to modify their residency status with new sponsors.

“Sometimes the amnesty-seeker comes and gets the outpass and then comes back asking to change his status as he wants to stay back in the country. People should know what exactly they want before coming to the amnesty centres.”

He advised parents that they need not bring children to the amnesty centres to rectify their visa status.

“It is a good chance for parents to change the status of their children so they can join schools and live legally in the country but it’s better not to bring them to the amnesty centre. Families and elderly people were among those seeking amnesty. The average time for a violator to modify his status is between 15 and 25 minutes, but it varies from case to case,” Brig Al Gaith added.

 

Emergency services

Meanwhile, Brigadier Rashid Khalifa Al Falasi, assistant director-general of fire and rescue services at Dubai Civil Defence, said all facilities in Al Aweer amnesty centre were inspected before the initiative started and a Civil Defence unit is stationed beside the centre to respond to any emergency.

Mesha’al Abdul Kareem Julfar of Dubai Corporation of Ambulance Services said a mobile clinic has been stationed beside the amnesty centre with two paramedics.

“We treated eight people who got tired or suffered sunstroke. We are ready for any emergency and treat amnesty-seekers if they need help,” Julfar said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it is providing 13 bus trips everyday from Gold Souq station to Al Aweer amnesty centre and that the buses have transported 1,000 amnesty-seekers since August 1.

“There are five buses plying on this route (11A) and the fare for a trip is Dh7.5,” Mohammad Al Ali from RTA said.

200 infiltrators

From Dubai Police, First Lieutenant Abdullah Al Naqbi of the Infiltrators Department, said that they brought over 200 infiltrators to Al Aweer centre to get outpasses issued for them so that they can leave the country.

“We arrest the infiltrators on borders and bring them to the Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section in Al Aweer so they can complete necessary procedures. We have handed over about 200 people to Al Aweer centre since the start of the amnesty initiative,” Lt Al Naqbi said. 

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