Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of Indians in the UAE responded within five days to a well-praised initiative announced by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi to facilitate jobs for amnesty-seekers who want to stay back and work here.

However, only 12 of them are amnesty-seekers, rest of them are people on visit visa, and residents who are unhappy about their existing jobs, a top Indian diplomat told Gulf News on Monday.

The embassy and the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (formerly IWRC, the embassy’s support centre for Indians) received only 12 job applications from the amnesty-seekers as of Monday, said Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE.

“In response to enquiries from amnesty-seekers about getting alternative jobs, we spoke to some Indian companies who are willing to conduct on-the-spot interviews. However only a few amnesty-seekers have come forward so far,” he said. About the hundreds of other Indians seeking jobs, the envoy said the embassy is not in a position to help them. “We cannot substitute the normal employment channels,” Suri said.

The ambassador said most of the Indian amnesty seekers are visiting the UAE government’s amnesty centres and the BLS centres [the embassy’s outsourced agency for consular services] to apply for emergency certificates to go back home. This trend could be the reason behind the low number of jobseekers among the amnesty seekers, the envoy said.

The Indian missions issued 107 emergency certificates in Abu Dhabi and 355 in Dubai as of Monday late afternoon, he said.

Suri said the embassy will conduct workshops with potential employers and handover the amnesty-seekers’ job applications to them on a weekly basis, when there are sufficient number of applicants.

The ambassador made it clear that the mechanism is only for amnesty-seekers and urged other jobseekers not to approach the embassy.

As Gulf News reported on Thursday, some Indian employers expressed their willingness to offer hundreds of jobs, if there are suitable candidates among Indian amnesty seekers.

The embassy has requested the Indian amnesty-seekers looking for jobs to contact the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (formerly IWRC) on the email ID: help@iwrcuae.in or the toll free number: 80046342.