UAE Experiences Increase in Runaways

UAE’s travel agencies have started filing many absconding complaints to authorities after their clients overstayed in the country on tourist visas while searching for jobs.

Despite UAE’s introduction of a jobseeker visa, many people, especially from Africa and Asia, still opt for a tourist visa when searching for jobs. It’s because the former’s minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Travel agents stated that the increasing number of absconders is negatively affecting their image with the immigration authorities. Their visa issuance authority is also at risk of cancellation.

Operational Director of Rooh Tourism, Libin Varghese, remarked that overstays aren’t unusual, but the reason they’re actively marking them as absconding cases is due to their dramatic increase. Last week, his agency registered over 10 absconding cases.

Travel agencies grant tourist visas under their sponsorship, making them responsible for overstays. They can be fined around AED 2,000 for each day a person overstays in the country.

Being a criminal offense, absconding may lead to deportation and an entry ban. It is pertinent to mention here that Emirates’ new visa rules allow visit visa holders to stay for 60 days.

Via The National News

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