An Arab man, who has been overstaying with his family in the country since 1995, got over Dh7 million in fines waived off by the immigration centre in Ras Al Khaimah, thanks to the amnesty scheme. The man, his wife, sister and his four children had been illegal residents in the UAE for 23 years. "I could not pay the hefty fines imposed on me and my family for overstaying in the country."
Figures showed a total of 10,797 individuals have approached immigration centres in Dubai since last Sunday. Statistics for Abu Dhabi and the rest of the country are yet to be released. Of those, 3,422 applied for a new visa and the ability to stay, while 2,809 chose to return to their home country. Many others are still at the processing stage and are reported to be missing key documents including passports.
Filipino expat Francisco Pacheco, 58, has been a Dubai resident for 27 years. He came legally in 1991 on an employment visa and worked as a fabricator at an aluminum company in Jebel Ali. His trouble began when the company closed down in 2010.He will travel back home to the Philippines to be with his family he hasn't seen for eight years. He paid the GDRFA Dh221 for the outpass and another Dh521 to clear his name from the immigration list so that he can travel without immigration ban. The entire Dh742 penalty was refunded to him by the Philippine Consulate.
The South Indian state of Kerala has appointed four representatives in the UAE to offer free air tickets to Keralites who are going back home after availing of the ongoing visa amnesty. it is reported that more than a million Keralites constitute the largest Indian expatriate community in the UAE.
Representatives of airlines and travel agencies have been stationed at the tents outside the Sharjah immigration department to help applicants book air tickets to their home countries after legalising their status. They said the demand for air tickets is high at the centre, "especially to India and Bangladesh".
The Department of control and consumer protection in Ras Al Khaima conducted almost 5,000 field visits to shops and companies to advocate about the amnesty program, and to encourage illegal residents about the importance of registering themselves and regularize their statuses.
New tents and extensions are set up at different locations to facilitate the thousands of people who are applying for the amnesty program, in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Om Al Qewein.
Up till today, Ajman Emirate has received 2700 applicants for amnesty, and resolved 500 cases, with total of 5.3 million dirhams of waived fines.
This report states that the number of beneficiaries of the amnesty program in 2013 reached nearly 61,826 people, while in 2007, total number of beneficiaries of a similar campaign reached 278,715 people.