700 emergency certificates issued
The Indian mission in Dubai issued nearly 700 emergency certificates to illegal Indian workers to return home as hundreds of them thronged the Indian High School here.
Due to the heavy rush of Indian workers on Sunday, the Indian consulate has decided to open a centre in Sharjah in the next two days for issuing certificates.
Last month, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government had set a deadline of three months for all illegal foreign workers to either get legal status to stay in the country or face deportation.
As of last week, close to 5,500 applications was received by the Indian mission here.
"We distributed about 700 out passes yesterday. We are starting a new centre at the Indian Association in Sharjah within two days. So people from Northern Emirate can go to the Sharjah centre to collect the certificates," Indian consulate spokesperson BS Mubarak said.
The Indian community is responding positively by helping the mission in processing amnesty-seekers' papers, he added.
There are around 1.4 million expatriate Indians in Dubai, many of them contract workers.
Meanwhile, some amnesty-seekers complained of delays in the processing of emergency certificates saying that they had to wait for hours just to submit their applications, the Khaleej Times reported.
"I came here at 8 am and I had to wait until 12.30 pm just to submit my application. Now I have to wait for another 15 days for the certificate," said Murugan.