The Indian consulate in Dubai has received more than 33,000 applications for emergency certificates from Indian workers wanting to use the special amnesty scheme for illegal expatriates, launched by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
Out of the 40,000 passports of Indian nationals received from the immigration authorities, the consulate has already distributed around 16,000 passports to the Indian workers, according to a statement issued by it.
Employers in Dubai take the passport and other travel documents of foreign workers and deposit them with the UAE immigration department. The passport is usually given back when the job contracts of employees expire.
In June, the UAE cabinet had announced a three-month grace period for foreigners present illegally in the country to regularise their status according to the law or leave the country without penalty.
There are around 1.4 million expatriate Indians in UAE, many of them contract workers. In Dubai alone, Indians comprise over 60 per cent of the city's total population of over 1.4 million.