Visas are not excludable nor extendable
Major General Al Rashidi: Imposing fines on the violators of the residency conditions
Zero tolerance in implementing the Law and firm actions against those who insist on violations
ICA called on all UAE expats who acquired a “Job Seeker” visa to pay attention to the expiry dates of their visas and to consider modifying their status in compliance with the provisions of the Law on the Entry and Residency of Foreigners in the State and to avoid violating the Law provisions.
ICA further highlighted that the temporary six – month visa, which does not require a sponsor and which is granted to those who committed violations before 1 August 2018 under the initiative ‘Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status’, is not excludable or extendable. Holders of this kind of visa shall promptly change their status, whether by transferring their sponsorship to a new employer in case of finding a job, or by leaving the State before the visa’s expiry date. This is to avoid any penalties, which include fines, imprisonment and deportation.
Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director General of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at ICA, said that introducing this kind of visa was directed by UAE wise leadership. It aims at making things easier for the violators who took action to benefit from the initiative and proved their desire to stay in UAE. This initiative gave them a new opportunity to seek a job that allows them to legitimately reside in UAE, provided being registered in the “Job Seekers” platform, which was developed in coordination with ICA and MOHRE.
ICA provided those who applied for benefitting from ‘Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status’ initiative, a six-month temporary visa without requiring a sponsor, after being completely exempted from all related penalties.
Brigadier Al Rashidi further added that the violators of “Job Seekers” visa will be treated as residency violators. A fine of AED 100 will be imposed for the first day of overstay, followed by AED 25 for each consecutive day of delay. He called on every one with this kind of visas to abide by the Law and leave the State if their visas expired and could not get a job so that they can come back to the UAE without being blacklisted. Thus, they can return back to UAE with a new visa according to the applicable procedures.
Al Rashidi noted that the Law does not allow this visa’s holders to work, unless they duly got a job opportunity and change their status in accordance with the applicable procedures in this regard. He also called on all nationals, residents and investors not to shelter or hire holders of this kind of visa before modifying their status and sponsorship, or to deal with them as if they are residents, as this may endanger the security of the society and affect the public interest. He also emphasized that protecting the country’s security and stability is the duty of all those who are living on its land. He added “Whoever shelters a violator or hires a worker who is not sponsored by him/her, shall be subject to penalties and fines stipulated by the law, amounting to AED 50,000 for each violator.
Al Rashidi indicated that the coming June is the maximum validity date for the job seekers’ visas, as the ‘Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status’ initiative was extended until by the end of last December, which means that visas issued last August were expired in February, while those issued in September 2018 were expired in March 2019, and those issued in December 2018 will expire in the next June as a deadline.
He further stressed that UAE will have zero tolerance in implementing the Law and will take firm actions against violators, by organizing intensive inspection campaigns to track down all violators who will face legal penalties, including fines for the entire duration of overstay, as well as imprisonment and deportation.
It is worth noting that ICA launched the ‘Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status’ initiative on August 1st, 2018, and lasted for 5 months. It included unprecedented privileges and exemptions to attract all violators of the Law on the Entry and Residency of Foreigners and encourage them to respond to its endeavors aiming at modifying their status in accordance with applicable laws. Thus, they can have a normal life and benefit from the quality services provided by the State to its nationals and residents in the areas of health and education, and ultimately having a “UAE free of violators”.