Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

About 7,500 Filipinos who overstayed in the United Arab Emirates were able to take advantage of the UAE government’s amnesty program.

According to Paul Raymund Cortes, Philippine Consul-General in the UAE, 3,000 of the 7,500 Filipinos chose to return to the Philippines while the rest opted to stay in the country to look for work, or have been offered jobs, Khaleej Times reported.

Cortes urges other Filipinos who are in the country illegally to avail themselves of the amnesty program before it finally ends on December 1. The official said there is likely to be a crackdown on UAE illegal residents after the lapse of the amnesty program.

“I urge them to come to the Consulate in Dubai or the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi so we can give them proper advice on what documents to bring and what are the requirements (of the) amnesty,” Cortes said.

Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III called on overstaying Filipinos to rectify their status as soon as possible or seek voluntary repatriation to the Philippines.

“Our government is ready to help you if you decide to go back home,” Bello said.