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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Jobseekers who came into the country on a visit or tourist visa after March 1 have been told they have a month to leave the country or risk being fined.
On Monday, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship told The National people with expired tourist or visit visas, who were unable to travel due to the grounding of flights in March, would have 30 days, from August 11, to leave the country. Anyone who remains in the country after September 11 will be fined.
Those who leave the country within the next month will also not be banned from returning.
The authority called on anyone with an expired tourist or visit visa to take advantage of the grace period and settle their status by leaving the country and re-entering.
Once they amend their status, "they are welcome to visit the country anytime," the authority said.
Thousands of people who entered the country on a tourist or visit visa in the hopes of finding a job or to see family became caught in the UAE when flights were grounded worldwide mid-March.
People have had to approach their embassies to register to be repatriated to their home countries after running out of money to fly home.
In Dubai, police and charities have helped dozens of Ghanians, who had been sleeping in a park, return to their home country.
Many from the group said they lost their jobs before the coronavirus outbreak and some since.
A few others came to the country to search for work on visit visas and were stranded when the borders closed on March 19.
Since then, other groups have been found sleeping rough around the country after either losing their jobs or never having had them when they entered the country and became stuck.
Last month, the authority said people with residency visas that expired or were cancelled after July 12 would have one month to leave the country or renew their documents. This grace period expires on Wednesday.
Anyone whose visa expired or was cancelled between March and July 11, was granted a three-month period to rectify their status or leave the UAE without being fined or banned from entry in future.
For those in the country, breaking the residency visa rules incurs a fine of Dh25 a day. When leaving the country, the fine is Dh250 plus Dh25 a day.
In July, a senior official announced that regular pre-coronavirus visa rules would resume as services reopened across the country.
“The purpose of the amendments was for things to gradually return to normal,” said Brig Gen Khamis Al Kaabi, spokesman for the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, in a radio interview.
Updated: August 10, 2020 09:21 PM
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