The UAE has had a problem for many years now and that problem is many of the expatriate workers who came to build the cities have remained in the UAE without a visa.

Due to the strict laws of the UAE, it makes leaving the country impossibility because of heavy overstay fines, re-entry bans and more.

The UAE needed to come up with a scheme that would allow violators to leave the country without penalties or being banned from re-entry.

Hence, the amnesty proclamation was made and is now offered to violators. However, be aware it may not be plain sailing and some of you will need to spend some cash to comply with the amnesty program.

It is a word we all know but may not fully understand the meaning. An amnesty is offered by a sovereign power to people who have committed offenses in the country. The amnesty expunges certain crimes meaning that it as if the crimes had never taken place. It is much better than a pardon.

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Post Contents:
1. When does the amnesty start and end?
2. Who can benefit and who can apply from the amnesty and new immigration rules?
3. Can an OFW avail the fine exemptions?
4. If I need financial assistance, will the Philippine embassy help me?
5. Will illegal immigrants receive a ban?
6. When the amnesty expires, can I come back to the UAE?
7. Two Amnesty alternatives
8. What is needed for your Amnesty?
9. Absconders/Runaways
10. I owe the bank money
11. What is the cost of availing the Amnesty?
12. Frequently asked questions
13. Phone Numbers

Top 10 international Countries affected by the amnesty:

Item Country
1 India
2 Pakistan
3 Bangladesh
4 Philippines
5 Iran
6 Egypt
7 Nepal
8 Sri Lanka
9 China
10 South Africans

It is estimated that there is currently 700,000 Filipino OFW in the UAE.

In this article, I will focus on the Filipino OFW who has overstayed his or her visa and has decided to avail the amnesty application تطبيق العفو. However, the process is the same for any foreign national.

When does the amnesty start and end?

The UAE amnesty will come in to action on 1 August 2018 and will end 31 October 2018 giving a three months grace period to finalize your amnesty.

Depending on your circumstances, this is not much time to change your legal status within the UAE.

I would advise your next step is to start the amnesty process as soon as possible.

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Who can benefit and who can apply from the amnesty and new immigration rules?

UAE immigration amnesty, which clearly covers Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is available to persons overstaying their visa. In this short article, I will give you all of the information you need to avail the amnesty should you wish to do so.

The amnesty is available to all types of visa overstay, be it tourist visa or residents visa.

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Can an OFW avail the fine exemptions?

OFW’s can avail the visa fine exemptions regardless if you have overstayed your visa.

You will not be fined or penalized if you apply for the amnesty in the stipulated time period. If you have a pending police case, you will need to check with the Philippine embassy for clarification if you can proceed with amnesty application.

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If I need financial assistance, will the Philippine embassy help me?

If you are exiting the UAE voluntarily, the Philippine embassy may help with some repatriation expenses.

You should also be aware that returning OFW’s would be given a six-month job seekers visa. However, if you do not find work within the six-months you are required to leave the UAE ten days before your visa expires to avoid penalties.

To the Filipino OFW and other Expats the only cost you will incur is if you decide to change your visa status and stay in the UAE. This will cost you AED 521.00. However, you will need to agree to the New UAE Visa Rules for 2018 and 2019.

For the OFW who have wanted to leave the UAE for some time but could not due to low income this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to return home without a blemish on your immigration record.

You will still be eligible to return the UAE in the future for work.

Will illegal immigrants receive a ban?

The UAE government has declared that persons who avail amnesty and leave the country voluntarily within the grace period of three months will not receive a “no entry” stamp in their passport.

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When the amnesty expires, can I come back to the UAE?

Yes, if previous overstayed your visa you can return to the UAE.

The UAE government has changed the rules and policies of entering and leaving the UAE. As you know before the amnesty OFW’s were issued a 30 day visa while their residency visa is being processed, if for any reason your residency was delayed you would need to leave the country and fly back for another visa to be issued.

The new proclamation provides the returning OFW with a six-month visa that can be extended for a fee if required.

Two Amnesty alternatives

The UAE government has made a provision in the amnesty and new immigration rules for the over staying OFW to pay a fee of AED 521.00 to rectify the visa status. Effectively you are no longer an illegal alien after you pay the fee and can remain. However, you will need to comply with the new immigration rules and policies and not fall foul of the amnesty.

To recap, you have two main options with amnesty, leave the UAE voluntarily and return to your home country without incurring any penalties or fines. You will not be banned from re-entry.

Alternatively, alter your immigration status and remain after paying a fee and agreeing to abide to the new immigration rules.

What is needed for your Amnesty?

  1. 3 passport photos with a white background
  2. Your passport
  3. If you do not have your original passport then your previous passport should be supplied
  4. If you do not have any passports then take along your county ID, this could be Phil Health or your driving license
  5. A return ticket to your home country
  6. If for some reason, you do not have your passport it is still possible for you to precede with your application for amnesty.

If for some reason, you do not have your passport it is still possible for you to precede with your application for amnesty. If your ex-employer has confiscated your passport then approaches them and gets it returned, it is illegal for someone to keep your passport. You will probably need to request an exit permit without the need for a police report if you cannot come up with your passport.

The good news is that the UAE want to assist you and will even consider requests from the Philippine embassy or consulate to return you back to the Philippines.

If money is not a problem, you may be able to replace your passport through the embassy. With new Philippine passport requirements, the days of waiting months for a new passport have gone and you may find through the Philippine embassy the DFA will expedite a new passport, but it will cost you!

Absconders/Runaways

This may cause you a problem but in the first instance, you need to contact your ex-employer and ask him to release you and take back the absconder allegations and files he has made. If you did not do, anything criminal, then the chances are your old employer will release you and withdraw his files against you and you will not be considered an illegal alien. Unfortunately, you will need to pay the fees associated with withdrawing the files.

Minor violations such as traffic tickets, is required by Dubai law to be cleared.

I owe the bank money

This may prove difficult for you to proceed. In my experience, banks are not forgiving organizations so you will need to offer the bank some kind of surety for them to release you from the country. Because you are in debt, you will not need to worry about taxes.

You need to approach the branch manager and lay your cards on the table. If you can offer a surety then the bank may accept that you may be able to come up with a payment plan that is backed by a guarantor that is also acceptable to the bank, which will enable them to give you the necessary document to satisfy the amnesty.

Do not be afraid to seek advice from the government. They want to help you to leave the country in the right way so your name is not stained. Along with the amnesty, you have human rights and the government will be aware they have an obligation under international law to assist you.

Anything you do not understand can be translated by the embassy or consulate.

What is the cost of availing the Amnesty?

To the Filipino OFW and other Expats the only cost you will incur is if you decide to change your visa status and stay in the UAE. This will cost you AED 521.00. However, you will need to agree to the new UAE visa rules for 2018 and 2019.

For the OFW who have wanted to leave the UAE for some time but could not due to low income this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to return home without a blemish on your immigration record.

You will still be eligible to return the UAE in the future for work.

Not married but have a child born in the UAE

This is a tricky one to deal with because giving birth outside of marriage in the UAE is a big NO. The official line is that having a child when not married is punishable by a year in jail. However, I would advise you to check with the Philippine embassy and a lawyer for assistance.

Here is the truth, the UAE government wants to reduce the burden on their resources and clean up the immigration mess of people overstaying their visa.

Cancelled visa’s and Confiscated passports

If you have had your visa cancelled or had, your passport confiscated for any reason then first check with the Philippine embassy and then a lawyer if further clarification is required. If your visa has been cancelled, or passport confiscated for a crime then you may not qualify for the amnesty.

If you did commit a crime and you have a warrant for your arrest or you are on a watch list then it is likely you will be arrested if you present yourself to the government for amnesty.

Most Ask Question with Answer for 2018 UAE Immigration Amnesty

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Conclusion

You will need to keep an eye on the official website of the UAE government or the Philippine embassy on Facebook for your ultimate guide on amnesty. The embassy is posting information as they receive it from the UAE government. The final details will be posted eminently and then you will be able to proceed with the amnesty application. You will need to follow the procedures on how to avail the amnesty. There is also a helpdesk you can contact for assistance.

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Info-graphic (credit: gulfnews.com)

The toll free hotline number is 80080 and you can email the embassy atn.abudhabi@gmail.com.

For Filipinos in Dubai and in a different emirates such as Sharjah, etc. please contact the Consulate-General in Dubai for information.

Another good way to keep up to date with information you can check the online forums for information.

Where to apply if you have overstayed your visa and want to return to the Philippines, take the time and visit the Amer centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you may need to schedule this so you do not experience problems. This offer is too good to be missed, it allows you re-entry should you wish.

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