UAE visa amnesty programme 2018
The UAE initiated an amnesty programme for visa violators and illegal residents in the UAE. The programme covered violations before 1 August 2018 only.
As per Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the entity responsible for entry and residence of foreigners in the UAE, visa violators before 1 August 2018 were able to rectify their status legally during the amnesty period, which ran initially from 1 August 2018 to 31 October 2018, and further extended into 31 December 2018.
Overstaying residents had the option to exit the country without paying fines or facing jail or getting ban or to rectify their status by getting a new-sponsored valid visa.
For inquiries regarding amnesty programme, ICA dedicated a toll free number 80080, available 24/7.
Who can apply for amnesty?
The amnesty programme will cover:
- Violators who reside in the UAE illegally - The programme will grant them a grace period to settle their status or to leave the UAE voluntarily without any legal consequences or fines.
- Overstaying job seekers - They can obtain a six-month self-sponsored temporary visa. Job seekers will have an opportunity to look for employment by registering in the virtual job market available on the website of Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- Those who entered the country illegally – They will be given amnesty by exiting the UAE with two-year ban.
- People with absconding reports - They can apply for amnesty and leave the country without a ban.
- Nationals of countries suffering from wars and disasters – They will be given a residence visa for one year, regardless of their residency conditions.
- Widows or divorced women – Their visa and their children’s will be extended for one year without the need for a sponsor.
Who is excluded from amnesty?
Blacklisted and those who have legal cases against them are not eligible for amnesty.
Where to apply for the amnesty programme?
Applicants can apply for amnesty through nine centres set up across the UAE, near customer happiness centres of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA across all emirates. These centres will be open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays. Additionally, people can approach the main GDRFA offices across the country, for any help or enquiry.