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Illegal Immigration Amnesty in the UAE

Illegal Immigration Amnesty in the UAE



The UAE has a very substantial number of non-nationals and immigrants. It has one of the highest disparities between the total numbers of nationals to foreigners, with around 90% of the population being from abroad. To put this into numbers, at this time within the country there are approximately 1.5 million UAE nationals, while at the same time, there are around 8.5 million foreigners.

Many of the Middle Eastern counties, in particular, the GCC nations, have populations that consist vastly of non-nationals, though the UAE is the most extreme of them.

The matter of obtaining a visa within the UAE is also one that is not the most simple or easy to do so. To begin with, to enter the country as a tourist, this is possible reasonably quickly as a 30-day visit visa is available. However, to go about getting a residential visa, you have to have a job within the country, and then apply. Generally provided are 2-3 year visas which require renewal upon expiry. The area which causes most of the legal issues concerns those who are in the country without a residence visa. They may have entered legally, and at a later stage, lost their jobs, or perhaps the renewal process was unsuccessful. In the end, there are numerous cases of illegals within the country, and often those people may be too uncertain of what will happen to them if they come forward.

Amnesty for Illegal Immigration

The UAE is aware of this issue and has recently implemented a temporary easy solution that will help many to clear up their affairs. An amnesty that began from 1 August 2018 and is to last for a total of three months has been initiated, and any individual who is currently illegally within the country may come forward and will be able to make one of two moves. They may choose to leave the country with no repercussions, or if they would be able to obtain a visa, they can do so by providing their documentation and proof of employment.

While it is generally the case that there will be no backlash to coming forward, in the occasion that the individual entered the country in a manner that was illegal, they will face a two-year ban during which they cannot return to the UAE. However, if this does not apply to an individual, they will be free to re-enter as soon as they legally obtain another visa.

For individuals who choose to leave, an exit permit will be provided to them that is valid for ten days. They must then exit during this time. If one decides they would like to stay and can provide the required documentation and proof of a job, they will merely be provided with a visa and may continue to reside within the UAE, only legally this time. Finally, if one wishes to stay, but does not currently have a job, they may be provided a six month residency period in which they can attempt to obtain a job, and if they fail following that period, they will then have to leave.

This period will last for a total of three months.