Abu Dhabi: The UAE plans tougher rules on issuing visit and tourist visas because most of the residency law violators, who seek the ongoing visa amnesty, entered the country on such visas, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) announced on Monday.
Many of the residency violators were also involved in dangerous crimes, warranting stringent measures to prevent such people from entering the country, the officials told the media on Monday.
Most of the residency law violators who entered the country on visit or tourist visa were jobseekers. Therefore, the authority plans to introduce a three-to-six month-long visa for jobseekers.
As part of the tougher rules, some pre-conditions, including a security deposit, may be introduced for issuing visit and jobseeker visa. The pre-conditions will ensure that such visitors go back after the expiry of their visas.
The authority is also planning to ask the foreign embassies to bear the costs of flight tickets for their citizens who overstay in the UAE because such people often do not have money for a ticket to go back home.
The authority warned that there would be regular inspection campaigns to identify residency law violators after October 31, the final day of the ongoing visa amnesty.
Arrest, legal action
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director of Residency Affairs at the authority (left), told journalists on Monday that violators will face arrest and tougher legal action after the amnesty period.
He said the amnesty is a good opportunity for violators to rectify their status, or leave the country without paying any fines.
Dr Yousuf Al Sherif, legal advisor at the authority, said the courts will give tougher punishments, including hefty fines and deportation, to residency law violators after October 31.
A sponsor or businessperson who employs an undocumented worker will be fined Dh50,000 [for each worker].
If the sponsor repeats the violation, the fine will be doubled to Dh100,000 for each worker who will be deported.
The authority will seek the support of the Ministry of Human Resources Emiratisation (MoHRE) that can conduct regular inspection campaigns at work places, workers' accommodations and farms to locate violators.
The legal advisor said the existing residency laws are comprehensive and clear to deal with the violators and no further amendments were required.
The federal law number 17 of 2017 deals with all issues related to visas.
The UAE government is keen to strictly implement the residency laws. Every five years, the government tries to help violators by announcing visa amnesty, as it had in 2007, 2013 and now in 2018.
"We are trying to help such people. But if we don't take tough measures these people will stay here further [without any documents]," the legal advisor said.
Regarding the new jobseeker visa, he said three to six months will be enough to find a job and if one does not find the job, he or she has to leave, the official said
Authority solves complaints of amnesty seekers
Abu Dhabi: The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) looked into several complaints received from amnesty seekers visiting the nine centres across the UAE and addressed them properly, the authority said in a statement on Monday.
The board of the authority urged all amnesty seekers to call the toll free number (80080) to register their grievances or suggestions, which would be solved at the earliest.
The authority has opened a new tent at the Al Shahama Centre in Abu Dhabi, which can handle 400 to 500 people.
The representatives of the embassies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Sri Lanka are present at the tent. They can assist their citizens, if required.
The authority offered refreshments and drinks to the amnesty seekers who visited the centre on Sunday after Eid holidays.
The officials were able to solve the outstanding problems of many people. An Ethiopian woman's five-month-old baby did not have any documents as her husband had deserted her.
The officials issued documents to the baby and offered medicines, food and clothes as the mother did not have money with her.
A 66-year-old Arab woman had accumulated a Dh50,000 fine for overstaying after her visa expired three years ago. She received exit documents as requested.
A 50-year-old Arab man got a Dh33,000 fine waived. He had come here on a visit visa to look for job but did not find one even after nine months.