The United Arab Emirates has initiated an amnesty program for undocumented residents and individuals who have overstayed their visas.
And in doing so, they are waiving off fines — as huge as DH1 million.
According The National, an 18-year-old Asian teenager who was born and bred in the UAE, without any official documentation, had amassed a fine of over DH1 million but under the new pardon program, all of his fine was relinquished.
“Among the cases that was dealt with at Al Aweer centre in Dubai, an Asian family requested to adjust their son’s visa situation after living in the country illegally since he was born," Brig Khalaf Al Ghaith, director general of follow-up sector of violators and foreigners in Dubai, said.
"The 18-year-old boy, who was born in Dubai, has no official documents and his overstay fine accumulated around Dh1 million.”
The teen was then able to return back home, without having to pay any percentage of the fine and he wasn’t the only one.
“A number of similar cases have been dealt with," Brig Al Ghaith said. "Some were born here and their official documents were not issued. Their fines have been waived.”
Another undocumented resident, an African-American woman, in Sharjah had lived there for over nine years, resulting in a fine of DH300,000. But her fines were also taken care off.
“An African woman, who stayed in the UAE illegally for nine years, approached the immigration centre in Sharjah. Her overstay fine accumulated Dh300,000," said Sharjah’s director of the entry and residence permits department, Col Hazim Khalifa Al Suwaidi.
"Her situation has been sorted out and exempt from paying the accumulated fines.”
The step by the Emirati government has provided undocumented immigrants and visa violators with an opportunity to return to their homelands without having to face any of the thousands of dirhams, accumulated in fines.
The program will continue till October 31st, providing assistance to immigrants looking for correction of their visa status.
While some of the undocumented residents have more complicated cases, many get their visa status sorted in less than 10 minutes.
Thousands of people are expected to visit the immigration offices in different states to get their fines waived off, an initiative which has made it easy for undocumented residents to rectify their residential status without getting deported or facing jail time.
The #UAE initiated an amnesty programme for visa violators&illegal residents in the UAE:— UAE Embassy - Berlin (@UAE_Berlin) August 3, 2018
Die #VAE haben ein Amnestie-Programm für illegal Eingereiste& bestimmte Fälle von Visa-Verletzungen eingeführt: https://t.co/dFJ1Y30FTQ… … @uaegov @MOFAUAE #UAEAmnesty2018 #UAEAmnesty pic.twitter.com/AVydtqTymp
With the worldwide crackdown on undocumented immigrants and President Donald Trump’s cruel immigration policies resulting in the separation of thousands of migrant children being separated from their families, the UAE has led by example on how dealing with undocumented immigrants does not have to include malicious procedures.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Satish Kumar