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Thu 2 Oct 2008 07:32 AM

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Diplomats seek talks to help stranded Filipinos

Ambassador to the UAE says 'high-level representations' will be made to ease problem.

Diplomats seek talks to help stranded Filipinos
VISA TALKS: Filipino officials are seeking a meeting to discuss the plight of stranded nationals in Iran and Oman.

Diplomats have asked to meet with UAE immigration officials in an effort to help thousands of Filipino workers stranded in Iran and Oman.

Libran Cabactulan, the Philippine ambassador to the UAE, said his embassy would make “high-level representations” on behalf of the stranded Filipinos who have been left in limbo while on so-called visa runs.

About 3,000 Filipinos who had been stranded in Iran or Oman had returned to Dubai after receiving new 30-day visas but many remain stranded, reported UAE daily The National on Thursday.

Acmad Omar, the Philippine ambassador in Oman, told the paper: “I have made strong representation with the ministry of foreign affairs in Oman to waive the fees of stranded Filipinos who have overstayed in Oman while waiting for their UAE visas, or at least reduce the fees.

"The Philippine ambassador in the UAE will also file cases against travel agencies who did not fulfil their promises.”

Brig Gen Nasser al Awadi al Minhali, acting director general of the UAE’s Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department, previously said those who wanted new visit visas should return to their home countries for a month.

Officials from the Philippine Embassy in Muscat have been sent to Buraimi, while one from the embassy in Tehran is scheduled to visit Kish Island, according to the foreign affairs department in Manila.

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Cholo Jopson 11 years ago

The representation and similar efforts being done by the Philippine diplomatic officials both in UAE and Iran are commendable though they seemed another ''lessons of the past.'' Just like in the movies, the police would arrive to the scene after the smoke had billowed and casualties stretched onto ambulances. Diplomatic officials, in the first place, should have forewarned Filipinos, both in and out of the UAE, over the new visa rules prior to its implementation. With the wisdom of these officials, along with the embassy staff translators, the effects of the new visa rules could have earlier been advised to the community through the Internet, street flyers and other mass media tools. Hence, confusion and displacement amongst the affected Filipinos would have been averted perhaps.

angelo 11 years ago

Quote "Brig Gen Nasser al Awadi al Minhali, acting director general of the UAE’s Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department, previously said those who wanted new visit visas should return to their home countries for a month".correct me if I'm wrong but I remember seeing a previous article that referred to this statement and correcting it saying that there had been a misleading statement and that the visa flights will not stop - is this a possible lack of understanding or burocrats who act on what they think - and not what is fact

Graham Plater 11 years ago

The UAE administration's tradition of wilfully issuing misleading statements and new rules overnight goes on, as does the systematic bullying of the socially weakest - and, increasingly, of the middle classes. I can only hope that "emiratisation" will one day force the locals to do their own more or less dirty work...

Jad Aoun 11 years ago

You are right angelo. The quote is from Gulf News dated August 19: "The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) will not stop people from exiting to any neighbouring country for visa change, the top official has clarified. Major General Mohammad Al Merri, Director General of DNRD said nobody is banned from travelling to neighbouring areas like Kish in Iran or Oman to change their visas. "We have never stopped people from exiting to any country of their choice to get their visas changed or renewed," said Al Merri."

John Fewings 11 years ago

How about DNRD getting it's act together and finally telling everyone in plain terms what the heck IS or IS NOT allowed under the ever-changing visa/residency rules? And, once establishing a new system, sticking to it for more than a couple of weeks? It might help their own people in not making fools of themselves - as well as a few hundred thousand people whose lives are made ever more miserable by official bungling through "learning by doing". And that is a lenient interpretation of their disgraceful conduct, assuming sheer incompetence as opposed to malicious bad will...

dave 11 years ago

What will happen if all the Filipino working in UAE stop work as protest could the UAE Economy be affected...any Emirati you seen serving food in a restaurant, driving a public bus or snipping hairs in a saloon....Laws in UAE are pro-company and anti-labour..market is not liberalize just to be in standard with other countries.. What will happen if the Government of the Philippine implement a deployment and travel ban in Dubai just like Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan....And the 6 month labour ban upon resignation what is the essence of it with respect to sovereignty of UAE is it for the companies...