Abu Dhabi: Residents in the UAE have been urged to report visa violators after the end of the amnesty period on February 4.
Visa violations can be reported to the Ministry of Interior on the 24-hour toll-free number 80080, the MoI announced in a statement sent on Thursday.
The MoI has also launched a campaign, entitled ‘Saahem’, to encourage the reporting of such violations.
Major General Nasser Al Awadhi Al Menhali, assistant undersecretary for naturalisation, residency and port affairs at the MoI, said that the Saahem campaign aims to raise awareness about the risks of visa violations.
He added that the MoI would exert all efforts to apprehend those who enter the UAE without following correct visa procedures, as well as to detect those who remain in the country without valid visas after the lapse of the current amnesty period.
A specialised team of officials has also been designated to deal with information reported as part of the Saahem initiative. The team will authenticate all information received on visa violators, and take legal action against offenders.
Brigadier General Dr Abdullah Ali Bin Sahoo, director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs in Sharjah and chairman of information for the amnesty campaign, added that efforts to detect visa violators would be intensified after February 4.
This is the fourth amnesty period declared in the UAE, and it began on December 4. The 60-day amnesty initiative allows visa violators to come forward and either regularise their visas, or leave the country without penalties. In general, overstaying in the UAE after the expiry of a residence visa is fined at Dh25 per day. To regularise visas, immigrants must pay all the daily fines accrued as a result of overstaying.
By mid-January, more than 10,000 illegal residents had already availed of amnesty and had left the country, according to an MoI statement released at the time. By then, the 10 amnesty centres in the UAE had also received more than 25,000 applications from illegal residents of 106 countries.