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45,000 passes for Indians to leave UAE

The passes have been issued to those who are trying to take advantage of an amnesty scheme launched by UAE for illegal foreign workers.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2007 23:20 IST

Around 45,000 passes have been issued to Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are trying to take advantage of an amnesty scheme launched by the UAE government for illegal foreign workers.

"Our missions in UAE have issued around 45,000 out-passes to Indian workers applying for emergency certificates under the UAE amnesty scheme," Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said, speaking at a function to launch a website for overseas Indians.

The passes will facilitate the return of the illegal Indian workers to India.

"We are making arrangements with Air-India and Indian for bringing back all those workers who have been issued out-passes," the minister added.

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.

According to reports, the grace period is likely to be extended by one week to one month by the UAE government.

The minister said that Indian companies in that Gulf nation were also helping in the implementation of the amnesty scheme.

"Indian firms in UAE have set up drop boxes to receive applications from Indian workers who think that they can attain legal status and continue work there," he said.

The minister also praised the work of the Indian missions in UAE saying, "They are doing a wonderful job".

There are around 1.4 million expatriate Indians in the UAE, many of them contract workers. In Dubai alone, Indians comprise over 60 percent of the city's population of over 1.4 million.