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DUBAI, UAE – More than half of the 6,800 overstaying Filipinos who have availed of the United Arab Emirates’ amnesty program have preferred to remain in the country and try their luck at getting a job, records at the Philippine Consulate General’s office show.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes told The Filipino Times in an exclusive interview that a lot more overstayers have been availing of the program, which has been extended for another month or until December 1, 2018. The amnesty program started on August 1, 2018, and was supposed to run until November.
“Still, a lot are availing of the amnesty,” said Cortes. “Many are also opting to stay on,” he added.
Cortes, spokesperson of the Philippine Mission for amnesty-related developments in the UAE, shared official documents showing that a total of 6,810 overstaying Filipinos have availed of the program from August 1 to October 29.
Of this number, 2,467 were issued travel documents to return home to the Philippines while some 4,343 – or 64% of the total – have opted to stay behind.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes
Broken down, some 3,140 of the 4,343 involved passport renewals “allowing those wishing to apply for a 6-month visa (as the program permits) to get one, or for those who have been offered immediate employment,” according to data provided by Cortes.
The remaining 1,203 involved lost passport application “for those who wish to rectify their immigration status in the UAE.” Cortes said these amnesty seekers have “intent to stay.”
Meantime, the data also showed that the Philippine government paid for the exit passes of some 2,308 of the overstayers while the total number of repatriated amnesty grantees stood at 2,417 also as of October 29.
The program was apparently extended in consideration of the turnout. – Rappler.com
This story was republished from The Filipino Times with permission.