UAE announces amnesty for violators of residency laws

The UAE has announced a two-month amnesty programme for foreign violators of immigration and residency laws, but there has been a slow response from Indians to the offer, India's envoy here has said.

There has been a slow response by Indians to the amnestycall by UAE officials as very few have applied so far for emergency certificates to leave the country, Ambassador M K Lokesh said.

"On an average, the Indian missions have been receiving about 40 applications a day, as the total number of applications barely crossed the 200 mark during the first five days of the Amnesty period," Lokesh told reporters here yesterday.

Beginning December 4, the UAE has announced a two-month amnesty for violators of immigration and residency laws in the UAE.

In 2007, taking advantage of a similar amnesty, Indian missions issued about 46,000 emergency certificates (Outpasses) to citizens who had lost their passports.

The amnesty will apply only to those who have overstayed their visit or resident visas in the UAE and not infiltrators, who would be treated like criminals. The process however is likely to gather pace once the deadline nears.

According to Indian missions in the country, last time around 50,000 Indians left the UAE while about 36,000 of them regularised their visa status. The ambassador said that embassy and consulate officials are ensuring smooth operation to complete amnesty procedures.

Lokesh said he has also met officials of Indian airlines to ensure smooth transportation of amnesty-seekers and said that they have assured full cooperation.

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