Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship invited the embassies and diplomatic missions approved in the State to cooperate with it in implementing "Protect Yourself by Changing Your Status" Initiative, which will be launched from August 1st until the end of October, which aims at changing the status of the violators of Law of Entry and Residency of foreigners in the State by exempting them from the fines and legal consequences that resulted from the violation and enable them to change their status or leave the state with ease.
ICA invited embassies to facilitate the procedures for violators of their nationals, accelerate the completion of their transactions and avoid complication so as to be able to benefit from the initiative, which aims primarily at taking into account their circumstances and alleviate them, enable them to change their status, live comfortably and in tranquility and benefit from the services provided by the State to its citizens and residents on its land.
This came during the meeting held by His Excellency Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al-Rashidi, Acacting Director General of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, with the representatives of embassies and diplomatic missions approved by the state at ICA's headquarters in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, in order to explain the details and mechanisms of the initiative, in the presence of HE Mohamed Al Qattam, Director of Foreigners Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Al Rashidi invited all the concerned embassies to communicate with their nationals living in UAE and to urge the violators to take advantage of this precious opportunity, explain their objectives and advantages, urge them to cooperate fully with ICA's efforts to change their status and serve them optimally.
Brigadier Al Rashidi stressed that the main objective of the Initiative is to solve the problem of every violating person, whether resident or visitor or stumbling family regardless nationality, by removing the burden of fine, exempting him from legal punishment and allowing him to search for work or leave to his country with dignity, without any impediments, consequences or ban.
He said that ICA will give the violators, through the Initiative, several options, namely to change the status by paying simple fees of AED500, exempt them from all fines of any value and other legal penalties, in case they wish to stay in the state, provide them the opportunity to work, and to enable them to leave the state without any impediments while exempting them from all fines as well as from the ban stamp so they can return to the State with a new visa at any time and allow him to obtain a temporary residency visa for six months with no need for a sponsor, during which he can search for a job, conditional upon obtaining the medical fitness certificate and visiting ICA to take advantage of the Initiative and register in the Virtual Labor Market system that allows job seekers, employers and employment agencies to interact among themselves under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and conclude the employment contracts.
He explained that those who have temporary residency visa (6 months) will not be allowed to work unless they have a legal job and transfer their residency visa to the new job sponsor. While those who are unable to get work opportunity will have to leave the state before the end of such period so as not to lose the privileges granted to them under the Initiative and to be able to avoid the legal consequences of the violation, and they can legally return later to the state if they wish and under a new visa.
In response to a question about the violators who have undecided cases between them and their sponsors, Brigadier Al-Rashidi explained that ICA will renew their residency visa pending rendering a final judgment in their cases. It will also renew the residency visa of persons sentenced in different cases, who serve their sentences in reform and rehabilitation centers until their sentences are completed, while the status of persons registered with criminal entries will be examined according to each case.
On the violators with no documents, Brigadier Al Rashidi invited their embassies to expedite the procedures of screening and release temporary travel documents to enable them to benefit from the Initiative, indicating that the duration of the permit to be granted to such persons after visiting ICA and closing their entries is one week during which they must complete their procedures and leave the state. In this context, ICA will grant the residency visas, including the temporary ones, only to those who have a passport that meets the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) relating to passports.
He added that ICA will close the records of all violators who have been issued circulars of absconding from their sponsors when they visit ICA, without reference to the sponsor and regardless of his consent or not to be able to change his status in accordance with the options provided by the Initiative, pointing out that the procedures followed by ICA when any sponsor request to issue a circular against the sponsored person includes the receipt of the passport of the sponsored circulated person to be able to complete its procedures immediately after visited by the circulated person.
He explained that the journey of the violator who does not have a travel document and wants to take advantage of the initiative will start from the centers set by ICA, where he will pay his registration and issue a letter upon which he can visit his country's embassy to issue a temporary travel document and then visit the ICAs center again for permission to leave, so that he can return to his cuntry without any obstacles.
During his speech, Brigadier Al-Rashidi discussed the issue of citizens of countries suffering from disasters or wars, stressing that the State will grant them a one-year residency visa, with full exemption from the residency requirements applied by ICA, as well as exempting the violator of such countries from fines. He explained that the procedures for this category will be carried out according to the usual method through the electronic channels (channel e) provided by ICA through the printing offices and that they will not need to visit the centers set by ICA for violators. He pointed out in this context that ICA will allow this category to work only if they transfer their sponsorship to a new employer. He also pointed out that this Decree reflects clearly the state's keenness to help the distressed, provide assistance to the grieved and give hand to every needy person and affirms its keenness to provide stability and a decent life for all who live on its land, and reflects the original values on which the United Arab Emirates was founded.
Al-Rashidi pointed to the Decrees issued by the Cabinet during the last months of May and June, which included the launch of an integrated system of entry visas to attract efficient and talented people and the adoption of a new legislative package to review the current residency system, to make it easier for those wishing to stay in the state and the job seekers, and granting a grace period for illegal residents in the State to settle their status or to leave voluntarily, to extend the residency visa of widow or divorced women and to grant one-year residency visa to nationals of states in conflict and disaster.
Brigadier Al Rashidi reiterated the nine reception centers established by ICA all over the state, including a center in Al Shahama in Abu Dhabi, a center in Al-Aweer in Dubai, while the reception centers were established in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Al Ain and Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi annexed to the buildings of customer happiness centers of the General Directorate of Foreigners Affairs and Ports, indicating that the centers will operate from 8 am to 8 pm, from Sunday to Thursday, along with the call center, which will receive questions and queries of the public on the toll-free number (80080), which offers 24-hour services.
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