Coronavirus: UAE allows violators of residency law to leave country, waives all fines

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The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday that residency law violators would be permitted to leave the country with all related fines waived, including the ban stamp, during a grace period of three months, with retrospective effect from May 18 until August 18, in the latest measures related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said in a virtual press conference in the capital Abu Dhabi that the announcement which was made by the UAE Cabinet, comes in accordance with directives issued by President Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to allow violators overstaying their residence permit to leave the country. said a statement carried by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Major General Saeed al-Rashidi, director general of ICA said all fines would be waived as long as people were leaving the country.

“Expatriate residents and visitors are exempted from all fines, as well as the ban stamp,” he said, in reference to a stamp on travel documents which prevents someone from returning to the UAE. These include workers with expired permits, jobseekers on expired visit visas and people working without any documents, said WAM.

Al-Rashidi said that the amnesty covers violations that took place before 1st March, 2020, and applies to entry, residency and visa law violators who fled from their sponsors, as well as violators of business contracts during the grace period.

He said that investors and owners of violating companies have cancel the violators’ status, while those under individual sponsorship have to be accompanied by their sponsors while applying for their departure permission.

A picture taken on September 14, 2017 shows passport control counters at Dubai's International Airport. (AFP)
A picture taken on September 14, 2017 shows passport control counters at Dubai's International Airport. (AFP)

Leaving the country may be done in three steps: violators to book their travel tickets in coordination with their embassies, national air carriers or any other carriers; confirm their boarding passes; and travel from any of the following four airports: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, according to WAM.

“The procedures differ according to the type of permission; residence visa holders should contact the airport of departure to finalize the required procedures. Visa violators, in the event of departure from the Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah airports, must arrive six hours ahead of their flights to complete their procedures. Violators wishing to leave the country from Dubai Airport have to contact an audit center 48 hours before their flight. These centers are the al-Qusais Police Centre, the Civil Aviation Security Police Centre and the Deportation Centre,” al-Rashidai explained.

The ICA excluded violators from people of determination and those under the age of 15 from the condition of travelling to the airports six hours before their flights in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah and 48 hours in Dubai.

A dedicated operation room has been set up to monitor customer inquiries, and a toll-free number, ‘800453’ has been established to receive inquiries throughout the week from 8:00 to 20:00 except for public holidays.

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Read more:

Coronavirus: Dubai awards permanent 'Golden Residency' visas to 212 COVID-19 doctors

Coronavirus: UAE waives fines for visa violators, 3-month grace period from May 18

Meanwhile, the UAE reported 568 new coronavirus cases and five new coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry of health.

The ministry said it had conducted more than 32,000 tests, while 469 patients have recovered form the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 22,275.

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