Overstaying Bangladeshi expats regularising status in UAE
UNB: Tens of thousands overstaying Bangladeshi expatriates in Dubai have been pouring into the Bangladesh Consulate premises in the hope of getting quick exit or regularising their status, the Gulf News reported.
“In the last week, we issued about 1,000 one-way travel permits or outpasses and have enrolled about 2,500 for new passports which will be issued by our country in a stipulated time,” the Dubai-based newspaper quoted S Bodiruzzman, Bangladesh Consul General in the UAE, as saying. According a rough estimate provided by the mission, over 600,000 Bangladesh expatriates live in the UAE.
Following a widespread awareness programme undertaken by the mission officials, thousands have been crowding the consulate premises. Every day the consulate officials are putting in a 12-hour duty to cater to applicants’ needs, says the report. There has been an employment visa freeze on Bangladeshi blue collar workers and these amnesty seekers now see the hope of getting a six-month grace after paying their penalties to find new jobs. “We have excellent working relationship with the UAE government and so far our nationals have been coming here on tourist and business visas which are open. We hope that this way our people in blue collar jobs will get a chance to regularise their status.”
We want that a majority of those paying the absconder penalty and getting fresh passports are able to find new jobs here. The UAE government is doing a great humanitarian service with this amnesty and we are determined to do our part,” Bodiruzzman added.
The consul general also said the Bangladesh mission was to try and provide as many concessions to the amnesty seekers as possible. “Wherever possible, we’re waiving penalties and also providing free air tickets to those with genuine financial constraints. Our prosperous expatriates are also cooperating in extending all kinds of logistic support to us in managing this operation,” said Bodiruzzman.