Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Filipino woman who overstayed in the United Arab Emirates for almost eight years has taken advantage of an amnesty program to avoid hefty fines for overstaying and return to the Philippines.

Yunilyn Liamzon, 40, who went to the UAE on an employment visa in 2010, lost her job as a beautician after the salon where she worked closed down in 2011. Liamzon then found another job in Ajman, but because her new employer did not process her visa, she was made to stay in the UAE illegally, Khaleej Times reported.

Liamzon said her passport expired in 2015 and her fines due for overstaying reached almost 170,000 dirhams (US$46,290) before she applied for them to be waived under the recent UAE amnesty. She said she had wanted to pay her fines in 2016, but as doing so would mean incurring a travel ban, she did not go ahead with the plan.

Through the UAE’s amnesty program this year, Liamzon had her fines quashed and was allowed to return to the Philippines. Liamzon said she and her fiancé, whom she met six years ago, will get married in Liamzon’s hometown in Davao City before returning to the UAE.

Liamzon was among the second batch of Filipinos to return home on August 15 following amnesty applications. After she and her fiancé marry, they will return to the UAE sometime next month.

According to Renato Duenas Jr., Philippine deputy consul-general, a total of 285 exit passes have been issued to overstaying Filipinos as of August 25 and more than 500 Filipinos have renewed their passports to avail themselves of a temporary six-month visa.