Amnesty seekers at the Al Aweer amnesty centre on the first day of the amnesty. The three-month amnesty will end on October 31. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Foreigners staying illegally in the UAE have one month left to leave the country without repercussions or to legalise their status as the amnesty programme will end on October 31.

The UAE declared a three-month amnesty on August 1 that allows illegal expatriates to leave the country without having to pay overstay fines or getting a ban while those who wish to stay may modify their residency status.

dirhams is the fine for hiring an illegal worker post amnesty

Illegals who fail to avail of the amnesty programme will be penalised, including those who hire them. Sponsors or companies that hire illegals will be slapped with a fine of Dh50,000 for each worker while repeat offenders will be fined Dh100,000.

Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes urged his compatriots who are staying illegally in the UAE to take advantage of the leniency while they still have time.

“I continue to urge our kababayans (compatriots) with immigration issues to avail of the UAE amnesty programme. I wish to remind that the programme runs until the end of October,” Cortes told Gulf News.

“So far, almost 1,000 of our kababayans [from Dubai and the northern emirates] have returned home and have reunified with their loved ones and family. Several other batches of repatriation are being scheduled until the end of the amnesty period,” he added.

More Filipinos have opted to stay in the UAE, however.

“At the same time, almost 3,500 of our kababayans have applied for their passports in anticipation of the legalisation of their stay in the UAE. Meanwhile, over 12,000 have visited the consulate requesting briefings on the procedures, requirements, and advisories pertinent to the amnesty programme,” Cortes said.

Cortes said five more batches of mass repatriations are scheduled this month on October 3, 9, 14, 21 and 28.

In Abu Dhabi, as of September 27, the Philippine Embassy has repatriated 574 Filipinos since the start of the amnesty while the number of amnesty passport applications processed has reached 1,029, according to Vice Consul Von Ryan Pangwi.