Woman living in UAE illegally for 29 years gets to leave without ban

Dubai: An Asian woman who had been staying illegally in the UAE for 29 years because of her undocumented birth was very happy when she finally got an outpass without paying the accumulated fines as part of the amnesty.

Of the 2,464 people who applied for amnesty on the second day in Dubai on Thursday, this 29-year-old woman came with her 10-year-old son seeking amnesty at Al Aweer centre, an official said on Saturday.

She was born in the UAE but her father died in the country and she couldn’t find someone to sponsor her. She was married later to a countryman and had a child but the husband also couldn’t sponsor her because he was working in a small company for a low salary.

Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, deputy director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai, said that she was exempted from paying all fines.

“The amnesty imitative has given the violators a chance to modify their status without a ban. The initiative has come in the Year of Zayed. The UAE is a country of tolerance and helps whoever is in need. This initiative will allow them to live legally inside the country or leave without paying fines,” Maj-Gen Bin Surour said in a statement.

The Asian woman praised the UAE for the gesture saying she is now allowed to leave the country without a ban and can come back later as a legal resident.

“I’m so happy with the initiative which will allow me to leave without the ban and come back later. I know there were amnesty programmes a couple of times before but I was scared to go and change my status as I was afraid of the ban. I was born in the UAE and has lived here,” she said.

On the first day of amnesty, 1,534 people applied for amnesty at Al Aweer and Amer centres. The initiative will be open until October 31.

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