All Pakistanis seeking amnesty in the UAE will be issued free outpasses, while in certain cases, their passport validity will also be extended free of cost for seven months, a spokesperson for the Pakistani missions has said.
The three-month visa amnesty starts today as the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has announced the ‘Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status’ campaign till October 31.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Embassy and Consulate said that the embassy will be supporting the initiative fully by waiving the fees for outpasses issued and for passport extension to amnesty seekers. “It is going to be zero fees for outpasses and passport extension for seven months,” he said. The original fee charged for an outpass is decided on a case to case basis.
A few weeks ago, the missions issued a public notice to inform the community about the arrangements and contact numbers of relevant officials. “In this matter, all issues will be handled by the Community Welfare Counsellor,” said the Press counsellor.
He said all other departments such as the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will support those who visit the welfare sections to avail of the scheme. “This will be done to manage the details of any missing documents,” he added.
It is, however, not clear as to how many people are expected to turn up at the missions today to avail of the amnesty. Besides zero charges for the documents, the mission will set up a dedicated hotline for the ease of the amnesty seekers.
The amnesty seekers have been asked to approach the community welfare sections in Abu Dhabi and Dubai or contact the officials on the following numbers 02-449334, 02-4447800 ext 217/337 or 04-3971748, 04-3966651.
Under the scheme called ‘Protect Yourself via Rectifying Your Status,’ foreigners violating the residency law will be granted a three-month grace period to either leave the country voluntarily without prosecution, or rectify their legal status by paying the required fees. The visa relaxation will lift the fears of over-staying foreigners, reduce the burden on those facing hefty fines, while encouraging illegal expats to make their status legal or voluntarily depart, without incurring a ban.
At least 1.2 million Pakistanis reside in the UAE.