Dubai, Aug. 7 (TNS): A total of 1,100 Pakistani nationals have approached the Consulate General of Pakistan to avail amnesty services since it’s launch in the UAE on August 1, Khaleej Times reported on Tuesday.
A total of 700 men and women have approached the various help desks that have been set up at the Al Aweer Immigration Centre, and 400 others have approached the Consulate, Consul General of Pakistan Syed Javed Hassan told Khaleej Times.
“Some nationals have gone directly to the immigration centres, but that is a very small minority,” explained Hassan. The mission has issued 400 travel documents or emergency outpasses since the beginning of the amnesty scheme. The diplomat also confirmed that immigration authorities of the UAE have advised amnesty seekers to travel only after ten days of issuing the exit passes.
Hassan also confirmed that the mission is providing free outpasses to Pakistani nationals and is providing a seven-month extension on the passports of amnesty seekers who are wishing to stay back in the UAE in the search of jobs.
He said, “Some of the people who are approaching us have only a one-month or two-month validity on their passports. We are giving these passport holders a seven-month extension so that they can find jobs, or travel when it is convenient for them,” Hassan added.
Destitute cases are also being provided with free air tickets, in collaboration with the Pakistani air carrier, Air Blue. “We are also providing financial assistance to those who cannot afford to pay the immigration fees to avail amnesty,” added Hassan.
Asma Ali Awan, the Community Welfare Attaché of the diplomatic mission said, “The Consulate has also expedited all documentation processes such as issue of NOCs, exit passes, passport extensions, etc.” The mission has been receiving several cases of people who arrived in the UAE on a visit visa, and have been stranded here without a job or proper documents. “In many cases, they have lost their passports. However, we urge them to come forward and avail amnesty,” she added.
The diplomats urged all Pakistani nationals to avail the scheme ‘Protect Yourself via Rectifying Your Status’. Hassan said it is too premature to announce the final figures of Pakistani nationals who would avail the service, but he assured that matters would become a lot more streamlined in the months to come.