Dubai: An Indian dad and a Filipino mom who both lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are seeking help to get legal documents for their month-old baby and also some assistance to manage their daily needs.
“We are running against time,” Xavier Raja Velanganni, 37, told Gulf News. “As per the law, my daughter (Angelin Raj) has to get a valid visa within three months after birth or we will get a fine,” he said.
“We are actually not looking to get a UAE residence visa for my daughter as my wife (Agnes Angeles) and I have decided that we will reside in India as we have lost our jobs,” Velanganni said.
Aside from his baby’s passport, he said he is also struggling to get an entry visa for his wife and daughter to India due to lack of funds and pandemic-related restrictions.
The family’s dilemma, he said, is compounded by a more urgent problem.
“We cannot manage even our daily needs. We need to find a solution to our financial woes,” said Velanganni.
Velanganni and Angeles worked as staff in separate restaurants and have had over two decades of service in Dubai’s F&B industry between them.
“My wife and I were terminated last May 15 and she gave birth on July 20,” Velanganni said.
After being laid off, Velanganni’s family has moved from a rented studio in Deira to a one-room shared accommodation in Sharjah.
“It’s been a struggle to stay here with no income, plus we have the meet the baby’s needs,” added Velanganni, who is originally from Bengaluru in India’s southern state Karnataka.
“Every day we have to think of where to get food or supplies. Thankfully, there are friends who continue to help, but they too were hit by the pandemic,” he added. Velanganni said he has borrowed money from family members in India and close friends in Dubai.
“Our plan is to go to India but the process is taking very long and we need funds to complete the requirements,” Velanganni noted.
“We are getting a Philippine passport for my daughter, but that will not happen until September. We still have to wait for the Indian visa for my wife and daughter, and the fee is non-refundable. In any case, we don’t have the money to apply for the papers,” he added.
Philippine Consulate responds
Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said the consulate will help in processing the passport of baby Angelin.
“They just need to email and request for an earlier appointment and explain the circumstances,” he told Gulf News.
Cortes added: “The Philippine Consulate General advises all Filipinos who wish to secure consular services to apply online for their appointments due to strict health protocols being followed at the consulate’s premises. Should they wish to secure an earlier appointment, they are advised to email the appropriate sections of the Consulate and request for consideration.”