90% of amnesty-seekers at Shahama centre on Monday did not possess their passports, says official
Abu Dhabi: Absconders who do not possess their passports and want to renew their residency visas in the UAE can visit the Shahama centre to begin procedures, said a senior official.
An official with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship at the Shahama Centre for amnesty-seekers said roughly 90 per cent of amnesty-seekers who flocked to the centre on Monday did not possess their passports.
Until Sunday, the centre only welcomed people who were looking for outpasses to leave the country.
In fact, absconders are required to come clean from court and CID departments in Abu Dhabi to rectify their status and stay in the country.
Explaining the procedures, the official said: “Those who ran away from their sponsors or workplaces and the police caught their passports, we can issue them documents at the Shahama centre to produce to their respective embassies to get new passports. This is for those who want to reside in the UAE after modifying their residency status.”
Obtaining such documents require applicants to fulfil all procedures.
First, they need to visit the Shahama centre and obtain a paper, then visit the CID office at the Abu Dhabi immigration and Abu Dhabi Court and get the paper signed and stamped there. Then they have to come back to the Shahama centre again to get another paper to produce to their respective embassies to get a new passport.
“This procedure is for the people who wish to regularise their residency status and reside in the country,” said the official who didn’t want to be named.
A second category of absconders who can also visit the Shahama centre are those who ran away from their sponsors for less than one year.
“They can come to the tent and we would have their passports to hand over to them. However, after one year, the lost-and-found passports are handed over to the respective embassies,” he said.
Representatives from Indian, Nepalese and Philippines embassies’ also turned up at the Shahama centre and helped amnesty-seekers from their countries.
The federal authority official appreciated their efforts at the tent to streamline procedures to speed up resolution of the issues.
“Representatives from Indian, Nepalese and Philippines embassies arrived on Monday at the tent and they were briefed about the procedures and, accordingly, they guided amnesty-seekers.”
Air ticket booking
Many amnesty-seekers purchased air tickets for the next day thinking that they would obtain an exit permit from the tent immediately and could travel back home but it takes three to five working days to complete the official procedures, said an official with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship at the Shahama centre for amnesty-seekers.
Officials take fingerprints of those who came on tourist/visit visas and overstayed, while those who possess local identity card don’t require it.
The official requested amnesty-seekers who want to leave the country to buy open tickets as many people who visited the centre raised the issue of losing money and wasting the tickets as they had booked for the next few days.