Visa services at the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Residents need to produce required proof from the court in order to get waiver of fines for overstay. Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Those who fail to renew their residency visas or overstay their visit due to police or labour cases can have their fines waived by residency departments, a top official said.

Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency at the Ministry of Interior, told Gulf News residents must prove they became illegal because they were in jail or that their passport was being held because of court proceedings.

Courts can provide the required proof, according to Major General Al Menhali, who said the rule was not new but needed to be highlighted so that people know it exists.

However, some have complained that residency departments are refusing to waive their fines even if they submit letters explaining their situation.

A man from the Philippines who worked for a private company in Dubai said his residence visa and passport expired in 2010 but were held by a public prosecutor because of cheque cases against him and therefore could not be renewed.

An Indian resident, who has a bounced cheque case against him, said he had overstayed his visa for almost a year and the Dubai residency department had refused to waive the fines.

He was caught at the airport after spending a short time out of the country in Kish.

"No fine will be waived without clarification from the court regarding the case of any illegal," Major General Al Menhali said.

Should the person be in jail, again the fines would be waived provided a letter from the prison authority can be produced.

"If the person became illegal due to his or her being in jail then the fines will be waived," Major General Al Menhali said.