The visa section at GDRFA
The visa section at GDRFA. Every job hunter with six-month visas must pay attention to the expiry dates of their visas and change their status either by transferring their sponsorship to an employer or by leaving the country. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: All expatriates on job-seeker visas are advised to modify their status once their visas expire and avoid fines and penalties.

The Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship in the UAE also said that the six-month job-seeker visas, which do not need a sponsor and were granted as part of the 'Protect Yourself by Changing Your Status' initiative, cannot be extended any longer.

Every job hunter with six-month visas must pay attention to the expiry dates of their visas and change their status either by transferring their sponsorship to an employer or by leaving the country. This is to avoid any penalties, which include fines, imprisonment and deportation.

Dh100

fine for the first day of overstaying, followed by Dh25 a day thereafter

Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Acting Director General for Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said the six-month visa scheme was introduced to help residency violators change their status and get another opportunity to find a job.

Register

As part of the initiative, those who wanted to modify their status, were required to register in the job-seeker platform, which was developed in cooperation with the authority and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Brigadier Al Rashidi said that violators of job-seeker visas would be treated the same as residency violators, where a Dh100 fine is issued for the first day of overstay, followed by Dh25 fine for each consecutive day.

He called on every one with this kind of visas to abide by the law and leave the country if their visas expired and could not get a job so that they can come back to the UAE without being blacklisted.

Al Rashidi stressed that the law does not allow visitors to work while on job-seeker visas, unless they got a job opportunity and change their status in accordance with the applicable procedures.

He also called on all Emiratis, expatriates and investors not to shelter or hire violators before modifying their status and sponsorship.

Violators

NAT-AMNESTY-FILE-(Read-Only)
Amnesty-seekers at Shahama camp in Abu Dhabi in 2018. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Archives

Whoever shelters a violator or hires a worker who is not sponsored by the employer shall be subject to penalties and fines stipulated by the law, amounting to Dh50,000 for each violator.

Al Rashidi said June is the maximum validity date for the six-month visas, which were issued by the end of December. Visas issued last August and September have already expired last February and March respectively.

He said the UAE will have zero tolerance in implementing the law and will take firm actions against violators. The authority will organise intensive inspection campaigns to track down all violators who will face legal penalties, including fines for the entire duration of overstay, as well as imprisonment and deportation.

The amnesty programme 'Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' was launched by the authority on August 1, 2018, and lasted for 5 months. It included unprecedented privileges and exemptions to rectify the status of all violators of residency and encourage them to change their status in accordance with applicable laws.