About 152 overstaying Filipinos in UAE was granted an exit pass during the 90-day immigration amnesty programme of the government.
It was not clearly indicated the number of fines which was waved by the United Arab Emirates government. However, it will most likely reach hundreds of thousands of dirhams.
The consulate only paid Dh221 for an out pass, their exit permits, and Dh521 to lift the absconding case and clear the name of an overstaying expat, allowing the person to return to UAE without being blocked by the travel ban.
The Philippine Consulate further extended their help by booking a one-way ticket from Dubai to Manila for those Filipinos who availed the amnesty program.
“Out of the 152 amnesty-seekers, 93 were given free tickets. The rest were not aware that we are providing them with free tickets. Some of them had their tickets booked a month before. Unfortunately, we cannot refund the fare due to restrictions in the Philippine government auditing rules,” says Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes.
All booking should only be done by the Consulate. Furthermore, Cortes also indicated that 93 OFWs were given free tickets while the five minors who took part in the amnesty program will be accompanied by their guardians.
88 Filipinos, who are the first batch, are scheduled to fly back to the Philippines this August 15 through the Philippine Airlines flight PR 659. It will leave DXB Terminal 1 at around 7:35 in the evening and will arrive in the Philippines at 8:15 in the morning, the next day. On their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, they will be greeted by the officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Additionally, welfare assistance will be given to the returning Filipinos that they can spend to travel back to their hometown.
“We are glad that the first batch of Filipinos are finally going home and will be reunited with their loved ones and respective families. We are very happy that the UAE government has given them a chance to return to the Philippines through the amnesty programme by waiving the overstaying fees. We, at the Philippine Consulate, are also happy to be part of bringing our kababayans (compatriots) back home through the DFA funding,” says Consul General Cortes.
“We want to assure our kababayans that all assistance will be given to them to the full extent. And for those who will prefer to stay in the country and rectify their residency status, we will also provide them with the utmost assistance in the documentation. But we would like to remind them to fulfil the necessary documents such as a birth certificate to get a passport,” he added.