Over half of illegals rehired under amnesty

Of 70,000 Indians coming forward in UAE, 40,000 now back at work, official says.

The Indian Embassy in the UAE has said that more than half of the illegal Indian workers seeking amnesty have been reabsorbed into the UAE workforce, with almost 90% working within the construction industry.

Speaking to Construction Week, Talmiz Ahmad, Indian Ambassador to the UAE said: "Out of the 70,000 illegal Indians that have so far availed themselves of the amnesty in the UAE, around 40,000 have been reabsorbed into the workforce."

The UAE government has extended the amnesty to 3 November in a bid to give all those who have applied for outpasses more time to organise their flights home.

With a labour shortage currently gripping the construction industry, companies have re-hired a majority of the workers.

"Most of the workers that have been re-hired belong to the construction sector," said BS Mubarak, labour consul, Indian Consulate. "Many construction labourers here are from India, and with such a large number seeking amnesty it would obviously have some effect on the already pressing labour shortage. I think the amnesty was a good tool to bring out the illegals and then legalise their status."

Mubarak added that even though the amnesty has been successful, there are still many illegal immigrants in the country.

"The UAE government will come down hard on illegal workers after the amnesty period is over; so it's best that they surrender themselves before they are caught."

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