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6 things you need to know about UAE’s amnesty

Imagine waking up one day to a bell ring. Opening the door and finding out that you have approximately $55,000 in overstaying fines to pay.

This was not the exact case of an Indian man that had accumulated $55,000 in fines, but with the amnesty visa, he was sent home a free and pardoned man, according to Indian Express, an online daily.

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Amnesty program as it stands

In fact, currently on the 8th day of the amnesty visa program 11,000 people have applied and out of those, Brigadier Khalaf Al Gaith, assistant director-general, Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Section in Dubai, said “Al Aweer center has waived fines amounting to tens of millions of dirhams,” according to Gulf News.

“Fines were waived for 2,809 applicants who had canceled their residence visas without changing their status. We have asked them to get new sponsors or visas to change their status in the country (before the amnesty period expires),” Brig Al Gaith said. Al Aweer center has also issued 2,459 pardons to applicants seeking to leave the country without paying fines. 3,422 people applied to renew their visas at Amer centers while another 2,107 applied to modify their residency status with new sponsors.

Furthermore, Indian expats will be happy to hear that “several hundreds of UAE jobs are on offer for Indian amnesty-seekers, who regularize their visa status,” said Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri on Wednesday, reports Khaleej Times.

Prior amnesty programs (2007 and 2013) resulted in more than 340,000 residents with expired visas coming forward, according to the National.

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Here are 6 Amnesty program things you need to know:

1- The 90-day amnesty period affords an opportunity for all those who are living here illegally to adjust and regularize their status or to leave without facing the range of penalties that normally apply and act as a deterrent for those unlawfully residing to make their presence known.

2- The program and center will run till October 31, 2018.

3- There are three ways you can get pardoned:

First, people with canceled residence visas, who haven’t changed their status were asked to find new sponsors or apply for a different route before October 31 (Fines will be back on their records if they are unable to commit).

Second, people who have overstayed their residency visas can modify it and change their sponsors without paying fees.

Third, people who want to go back to their countries can now do so without paying fines.

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4- After October 31 fees will continue for illegal expats at $7/day on expired or revoked residence visas and $27/day on expired stay visas.

5- Infiltrators of the emirate borders will also be granted amnesty.

6- The average time for someone to modify his status is between 15 and 25 minutes