As UAE amnesty nears Sri Lanka looks to expedite documents

Sri Lanka is looking at the possibility of expediting the documents for Sri Lankans overstaying in the United Arab Emirates who are to make use of a three month amnesty declared from August 1st, Gulf News reported.

Charitha Yattogoda, consul-general of Sri Lanka to Dubai and Northern Emirates, said typically it takes between five and eight weeks for a Sri Lankan passport to be issued.

“We are trying to expedite the procedures during the amnesty. We will seek the support of Colombo to deliver the new passports at the earliest.”

Visa overstayers wishing to regularise their residency status during the amnesty starting on August 1 are urged to submit their applications at the earliest to avoid delays if they do not have passports.

Diplomatic missions of labour-sending countries are gearing up to issuing passports to amnesty applicants seeking to stay back in the country.

Visa violators have an option with the title “Protect Yourself via Regularising Your Status” to get resident visas to continue living in the UAE during the three-month amnesty, from August 1.

According to diplomats, even those who require an emergency travel document to exit the country without a ban also need to apply soon if they do not have any proof to establish their nationality.

In such scenarios, they will be required to get some documents verified from their home countries to be eligible to get out-passes.

“If we have the previous passport details, we can certainly immediately issue a travel document. If they don’t even have that, we need a police report from Sri Lanka,” said Yattagoda.

Applicants with documents to prove their nationalities are not likely to face any delays in getting emergency travel documents, diplomats said. (Colombo Gazette)

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