A total of 13,843 people changed their status from illegal to legal residents
More than 105,000 people benefited from the UAE’s five-month visa amnesty programme, according to a top official from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
Speaking to Arabian Business, GDRFA director general Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri revealed that 13,843 people changed their status from illegal to legal residents.
Additionally, Al Marri said that 1,212 people from war-ravaged countries benefitted from one-year visas.
In total, 30,387 people got out-passes after fines were waived during the amnesty, while 6,288 people received new residency visas and 18,530 people renewed their visas.
Another 35,549 permits were issued to job seekers.
According to Al Marri, approximately 11.3 million passengers used the 122 smart gates at Dubai International Airport last year, a number which he said was “considerably reduced waiting times at passport control counters.”
GDRFA statistics show that more than 50 million passengers used the airports in 2018 as well as 2.5 million who entered the country through ports or land border crossings.
Al Marri also noted that nearly 900 UAE nationals employed in 61 Amer centres in Dubai handled more than 1.7 million applications throughout the course of the year, while Amer call centres received 1.6 million calls and inquiries.