Jobseekers from certain countries coming to the UAE may need to pay a security deposit before they are issued visit and tourist visas, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has said.

Dr Yousuf Al Sharif, legal adviser to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said the authority is considering putting in place “special or pre-conditions” for jobseekers. “If pre-conditions are put in place, it will ensure that these visitors leave the country after the expiry of their visas,” said Dr Al Sharif.

The tougher regulations will help the UAE authorities reduce the number of visit visa violators.

The proposal comes after the authority found out that most of the illegal residents looking to avail of the ongoing UAE visa amnesty scheme had entered the country on visit or tourist visas.

Dr Al Sharif said the authority would introduce a six-month visit visa for jobseekers after the end of the amnesty scheme. “This would give jobseekers ample time to look for jobs and avoid overstaying in the country.”

According to the changes made to the job visa rules that were issued by the UAE Cabinet in June 2018, the six-month visa is granted for jobseekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The authorities also allow individuals wishing to adjust or renew their visa to do so for a fee, without having to leave and re-enter the country.

The official said that embassies might also be obligated to bear the costs of air tickets for their citizens who overstay their visit or tourist visas. This is because of the fact that many illegal residents don’t have the money to buy flight tickets to go back to their home countries, he explained.

Meanwhile, the official warned that tougher punishments, including jail, hefty fines and deportation, will be imposed on people caught violating residency laws after the end of the amnesty. “All people staying illegally should avail of this amnesty initiative to rectify their status or leave the country within the grace period that has been given to avoid facing problems.”

Companies or people caught employing illegal residents will face a fine of Dh50,000 for each worker.

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