Thousands of Nepali migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are likely to be severely affected as the UAE Government has updated its visa rules earlier this week.
This is very appalling, especially when the migrant workers are already in miserable conditions with no employment and money due to coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, the UAE Government has decided to automatically renew visas, exempt all applicable fines and extend the expiry date of all IDs until December in view of COVID-19.
However, the UAE Cabinet has amended all the decisions related to amnesty, visa fine waivers and validity extensions adopted to relieve people during the pandemic.
If one fails to renew their visa or leave the UAE within the stipulated deadline, they are liable to the fines as per the UAE’s immigration law.
As per the law, NPR 4,000 to 9,000 will be fined for the first day and NPR 800 to 3,000 per day from the second day.
According to the Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA), as many as 50,000 Nepali migrant workers in UAE are left unpaid since the coronavirus outbreak.
Issuing a statement on July 14, the NRNA has urged the government to resume regular international flights and rescue flights for the time being so that the stranded Nepalis can avoid any punishment due to visa-related issues.
“Those who have already lost their jobs cannot pay such a huge amount of money in fine. Therefore, it is important for the government to increase the number of rescue flights at the earliest,” said NRNA.
However, the Nepali Embassy in Abu Dhabi seems to be reluctant to address the issues of migrant workers.
The Embassy has received huge criticism for its inability to take any proactive initiatives to resolve the issues.