Maj-Gen Mohammad Al Merri briefing consular representatives at the Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section in Al Aweer, Dubai. Image Credit: Courtesy: GDRFA

From August 1, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) will issue amnesty visas to help residents illegally living in the country after the end of their visa validity period.


Three months, from August 1 to October 31

What does this mean for illegal residents?

Residents who overstayed their visas can choose to fly back home after getting work bans revoked; have their absconding charges dropped and even have fines for overstay dismissed. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) will lift absconding reports, and six-month or one-year work permit bans issued against employees before July 31. Residents seeking amnesty who wish to find a job and entered the country through legal channels may get a six-month visa to search for a job.

Where can illegal residents apply for amnesty?

Al Aweer has a one-stop shop for amnesty applicants while violators seeking to regularise their visa status during the amnesty period can approach the Amer centres of the GDRFA. Currently, there are 43 Amer centres located in different areas in Dubai. These centres will provide all services, including cancellation of fines for violations related to residency, Emirates ID and labour permit.

ICA has established nine centres nationwide to receive applicants with ease. There is a centre in Al Shahama – Abu Dhabi. Reception centres have been established in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Al Ain, Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi annexed to Customer Happiness Centres related to General Directorate of Foreigners and Ports.

Reception centres will operate from 8am to 8pm from Sunday to Thursday, and a call centre will be available to receive questions and queries from the public via a toll free number, 80080, which will be available 24 hours a day.

What if a resident entered the UAE illegally?

He or she will be given an exit permit with a two-year ban for re-entry. The applicants can return through legal channels if they wish to do so after the two years.

After processing, how long does an amnesty applicant have before he/she has to leave?

After an exit pass is granted, he or she is expected to leave the country within 10 days.

What if the applicant has a loan default or an active legal case?

Applicants with defaults on loan payments or cases charged against them will have to clear or settle those cases before applying.

Amnesty visa for illegal residents seeking jobs

A six-month visa will be issued to the amnesty seeker on his or her own sponsorship if he or she wants to find a job. The visa holder will be eligible to find a job in the government or private sector during these six months. If they get a new job during this period, they can move to the new residency visa.

However, if they can't find a job within six months, they have to leave the UAE. For these cases, the amnesty applicant has to have first entered the country through legal channels.

Former residents with an existing entry ban

During the amnesty period, former residents who have an active entry ban can apply for entry visas such as tourist, visit or residency visa through normal channels.

For citizens of countries in war or hit by disaster

They will be granted a one-year residency visa, with full exemption from the residency requirements applied by ICA, along with exemptions from fines.


For exit passes, the fee is Dh220 per person while modification of residency will cost Dh500. To close absconding cases, a fee is payable – for individuals this is set at Dh121.

In case you have no passport

Contact your consulate first and get a travel document or certificate from there to apply for an exit pass during amnesty period.

Contact for queries

ICA Toll free number: 80080 (24 hours daily); Contact your consulate for specific information on cases