Omar and Rahaf. A supportive family environment in Tunisia is the stranded family’s best hope. Image Credit: Bassma Al Jandaly/Gulf News

Dubai: A woman living illegally in the UAE with her husband and two children is struggling to go back home after she failed to obtain a birth certificate for her baby due to lack of funds.

Maria, who is from the Philippines married to a Tunisian, said she has been staying illegally in the country since 2011. Her husband is also staying here illegally since he left his job in 2009 because the company stopped paying the workers their salaries, according to her.

Maria told Gulf News that she applied for an outpass for herself and her three-year-old daughter, Rahaf, at the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Ajman in November last year during the amnesty, but was denied the departure on any outbound flight from the UAE because she was nine months pregnant with her second child.

Maria said the airlines refused to take her on board unless she produced a letter from her doctor stating that she would not deliver her baby during the flight, a certificate she was not able to get from any hospital in spite of her many attempts.

“My hospital and other clinics too refused to give me the required letter,” she said.

Maria said that she gave birth to her second child, Omar, on November, 25 at Al Qasimi Hospital.

“I was forced to give birth in the UAE. My husband is not working and so we failed to pay the delivery fees,” said Maria.

Maria said that her husband, who has been living here since 2006, has filed a case against his company. The court ordered the company to pay her husband his dues but he has been struggling to get the money for almost three years but the company has closed down.

“I applied for an outpass also during the amnesty after I gave birth to my baby to leave with my daughter and son but I need a birth certificate for my child in order to issue a passport for him so we can leave the country,” she said.

She said that her husband had got her a visa twice to go to Tunisia to his family but they cannot do so now as they need to have a birth certificate for their baby Omar.

“We have no money even for milk for the children. We want to go back home but we cannot,” she said.

Maria said that she never wanted to give birth here because of the lack of money but she was forced to do so by circumstances.

“I gave birth in Al Qasimi Hospital and they are asking us to pay Dh10,000 because I have no health card and I have no delivery file at the hospital,” she said.

Maria added that the hospital helped her with Dh 1,000.

“The hospital helped us with Dh 1,000 which they paid in order to discharge me and baby Omar,” she said.

Maria added that she really needs to go home.

“I have to leave the UAE to go to my husband’s home country where his family will support us,” she said.

Maria said that they cannot even afford the house rent.

“We cannot survive here and we cannot leave because we need to get the birth certificate for Omar,” she said.

Maria said that her son’s age now is almost four months.

“I have no clue what to do and my husband is not working and he cannot work because of the case he filed against the company.

“I’m illegal here with my children and my son is without legal documents,” she said.

Maria said that every day the situation with her husband and family is becoming worse.

“I’m afraid that the land lord will post the rent cheque against my husband,” she said.

Maria said that some of her husband’s friends are helping them financially.

“Some friends of my husband are helping us to buy food for the children and that all what they can do for us,” she said.

Maria said that the hospital fees is very high and she really need to get her son’s birth certificate.

According to official from Al Qasimi hospital that the delivery fees must be paid in full in order to hand the family their baby’s birth certificate.

A spokeswoman from Al Qasimi hospital said the delivery fees is more than Dh 6,000 and because Omar’s mother is not a patients at the hospital and she had no health card so she is charged Dh 10,000.

“We helped her with Dh 1,000 in order to discharge her from the hospital,” the spokeswoman said.