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Indian mission gets 600 amnesty applications

Applications were received for regularisation of work permits on the first day of the opening of collection centres across the UAE.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2007 15:27 IST

The Indian mission here received some 600 applications from Indians for regularisation of their work permits on the first day of the opening of collection centres across the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This follows last week's announcement by the UAE government warning all illegal expatriate workers to regularise their work permits within three months or face stiff penalty. The government had also cautioned employers that stringent action would be taken against them if they employ illegal workers.

"The first day saw some 600 applications coming to us from different centres, of which 259 came from our Indian High School centre alone," Indian Consulate spokesperson BS Mubarak said.

The consulate has also set up a special phone line for Indian nationals who want any clarification regarding their work permits.

"We have appointed people who know different languages so that people don't face any problem. The crowd is expected to increase in the coming days. The processing of applications would be completed by July 1," Mubarak added.

"People have been turning up in big numbers. There are people who have come in for queries too. We expect a good crowd within a couple of days now and our office-bearers are fully prepared for it," said KA Mathew, president of the Indian Association in Sharjah.

Some Indian applicants said the amnesty decision had brought them great, the Khaleej Times reported.

"These centres would be very helpful for us. The best thing is that they have been opened up all across the Emirates. We thank the Indian consulate for this. And we also thank the government for announcing amnesty. Now so many like us would be able to go home," said Rangaswami, an Indian worker.