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Illegals must apply for amnesty, official urges

Those caught after amnesty will face jail terms

Gulf News

Dubai: A top official has called on illegal residents to take advantage of the amnesty granted by the government as soon as possible.

Brigadier Dr Abdullah Ali Bin Sahoo, Director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Sharjah, told Gulf News on Wednesday that this will probably be the last amnesty for illegal residents.

“The two-month amnesty period will not be extended and there will be no other amnesty for illegals any more,” he said.

Dr Sahoo, who is head of the media committee for amnesty operations, warned that after the end of the amnesty there will be intensive inspections and arrests for illegal residents who will be prosecuted and face jail.

“Those who have overstayed in the country should visit the nearest amnesty centre at any of the residency departments in the country and take advantage of the amnesty period,” said Dr Sahoo.

“The period will end the first week of February,” he added.

Dr Sahoo said that the media and residents must help in alerting illegal residents on the current amnesty period and urge them to make use of it.

“We are giving a chance for illegal residents to leave the country without any liability despite the fact they have broken the residency law,” he said.

“The 60-day amnesty grace period, which started last month, allows violators of the residency law to come forward and either amend their visas status or leave the country without consequences,” he said.

Those overstaying here after the expiry of their residency visa are fined Dh25 per day. While those who overstay their visit and tourist visa have to pay Dh100 per day. To amend their visas status, illegals must pay the overstaying fines.

According to Ministry of Interior officials there has been a slowdown in the number of people applying for the amnesty at all amnesty centres across the country.

“We are expecting the rush to be at the last days of the amnesty,” the official said.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior around 9,500 illegal residents have applied for the amnesty and already left the country.