More than 100,000 overstaying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will benefit from the 3-month amnesty offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III called on OFWs who have issues and concerns with their immigration to UAE including those who fled from employer to file an amnesty application to put their status in order or to voluntary repatriate back to the Philippines.
The UAE amnesty program started this August and will be available until the end of October 2018.
According to DOLE, there are approximately 88,000 undocumented and overstaying OFWs in Abu Dhabi and about 15,000 in Dubai.
On the other hand, the are currently more than 646,000 documented OFWs in UAE – about 225,000 in Abu Dhabi, and 422,000 in Dubai.
“We advise all undocumented, distressed, and overstaying OFWs to file an amnesty application offered by the UAE government to legalize their stay or apply for voluntarily repatriation for their welfare. Our government is ready to provide assistance if they chose to return home to the Philippines,” Bello said.
Under the amnesty program, all foreigners who violate the law on immigration are given the opportunity to voluntarily leave UAE without any legal obligation or make necessary tax payments to legalize their immigration status.
Interested OFWs can ask for assistance from the Philippine Embassy in UAE and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Those who opt for voluntary repatriation back to the Philippines, they can avail of the repatriation program to receive immediate assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), including airport and cash assistance.
Under DOLE Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood Program (DOLE Assist WELL Program), those who will be repatriated back to the Philippines will also get employment referral from DOLE for local and overseas employment, livelihood assistance, legal and conciliation service, competency assessment and training assistance.