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Undocumented Nepalis in UAE can return home without facing penalties and future travel bans

Hundreds of Nepali workers living illegally after violating immigration laws in the United Arab of Emirates have now been given a chance to return home without facing any punishment.

With the UAE government’s latest announcement of amnesty for foreigners, including Nepali migrants, those who have overstayed their visa get three months to return home.

“There are many Nepali workers and visitors whose visas expired before March and have been staying illegally here in the UAE,” said Pasang Sherpa, vice-chair of Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA), UAE Chapter. “This amnesty is a huge opportunity for them. They can leave the country before November 17 without having to pay any fine or face future travel bans.”

As per the decision, foreigners whose visa expired before March 1, need to return home by November 17 to avoid punishments and fines.


The three-month extension comes a day before the ongoing amnesty scheme, which had started on May 18, comes to an end on Tuesday, according to Khaleej Times, an English language newspaper published in Dubai.

The latest amnesty applies to everyone who flouted immigration rules by overstaying in the UAE. Authorities have also said such offenders will not be barred from future travel to the country if they utilise the amnesty and return to their respective countries.

According to Sherpa, more than 3,000 Nepalis, who have overstayed in the country after their visa expired, could benefit from the latest scheme.

Those willing to return home as per the latest amnesty must have a valid passport and a flight ticket, according to local authorities. Beneficiaries of the current scheme will not even have to go for a prior registration this time. They can directly report at the airport.

The UAE government’s latest amnesty is one of the several recent initiatives launched by countries in the Gulf, affected due to Covid-19 pandemic, to repatriate foreigners in the wake of safety concerns. Nearly 3,000 undocumented Nepali workers could return home after utilising a similar amnesty announced by Kuwaiti, which has even agreed to provide free air tickets.

Thousands of Nepali have been affected by the pandemic in the UAE where an estimated 275,000 Nepalis have been living and working. A large number of workers have been scrambling to return home.

With the government repatriation beginning in the second week of June, a total of 14,314, have returned from the UAE—the highest number for any country—until Saturday. Likewise, nearly 42,000 have applied with the Nepal embassy in the UAE to return home. 

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