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Residency law violators will be permitted to leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 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, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) of the UAE government announced, according to WAM

Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director General of Foreigners Affairs and Ports, announced the amnesty during a virtual press conference organised on June 8. He was referring the latest directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to allow violators overstaying their residence permits to leave the country.

The UAE Cabinet had earlier issued a decision exempting all foreign residents and visitors overstaying their permits from fines effective from May 18 for three months.

Major General Al Rashidi said that the amnesty covers violations that took place before March 1, 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.

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

“The violating 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.

Leaving the country may be done in three steps: violators have to book their travel tickets in coordination with their embassies, and 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.

“The procedures differ according to the type of permission; residence visa holders should contact the airport of departure to finalise 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 travel procedures. Violators wishing to leave the country from Dubai Airport have to contact an audit centre 48 hours before their flights. These centres are the Al Qusais Police Centre, the Civil Aviation Security Police Centre and the Deportation Centre,” he 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 within 48 hours when departing from Dubai.

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