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Pakistani applicants for amnesty will not pay outpass charges

Embassy proposes ‘soft loans’ for illegals being repatriated

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
An amnesty seeker talks to an official at the Al Aweer Investigation and Follow up on Illegals Department.
Gulf News

Dubai: Illegal Pakistani residents applying for amnesty will not be charged for an outpass, the Pakistani ambassador to the UAE said.

Jamil Ahmad Khan said all charges related to the amnesty application have been waived. The Pakistani missions in the UAE will bear the expenses for drafting the applications, copying of documents and photographs, Khan said during a press conference at the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai on Tuesday.

The 60-day amnesty announced by the UAE started on Tuesday. Visa rule violators will not be fined or prosecuted for immigration offences during the amnesty period, which ends on February 3, 2013.

The embassy has proposed to the Government of Pakistan that those being repatriated should be assisted with ‘soft loans’ of Pakistani Rs300,000 (Dh12,000).

Pakistani missions and community groups are also trying to arrange tickets for those who cannot afford to pay.

Pakistani missions will work longer hours and increase staff strength to handle outpass applicants, Khan added. Dedicated counters for three categories have been set up at the missions: Those bearing expired passports; those with expired ID cards; and those with no documents.

The process of obtaining an outpass is expected to take about six minutes after photographs are taken, Khan said. Having a air ticket booking is not required.

Applicants with an outpass have to then proceed to UAE immigration office branches.

The Pakistan Association Dubai and the Pakistani Social Centre in Sharjah are also handling applications.

Pakistani Consul-General Tariq Iqbal Somoro said the consulate will assist applicants, adding that he expects news of the amnesty to reach all candidates through official communications, word of mouth and media.

About 50 applicants showed up at the consulate in Dubai on the first day of the amnesty, a consultate official said. It is estimated that 50,000 people will avail of the programme.

In 2007, about 50,000 Pakistanis took advantage of the amnesty; 25,000 in 2003; and 50,000 in 1996, official figures show.

This is the fourth amnesty granted by the UAE for illegal residents.

More information is available by calling 800 5111.