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Indian Expatriate in UAE, Ready to Fly Back Home after 20 Years

An Indian expatriate can hardly believe how he finally goes back to his home after 20 years, with Dh750,000 of fine waived off by Sharjah authorities.

What’s in a name? Indeed, even a letter matters, says Thanavel Mathiazhaagan, an Indian worker in the United Arab Emirates who is set to get back to his home to being granted to a waiver of almost Dh 750,000 in overstay fines, reports Gulf News.

The man from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu claims that he was unable to avail amnesty opportunities in the UAE over the most last 20 years as his identity verification was not cleared from India due to a mismatch in his father’s name in documents back home and that mistake appeared in his passport. As it came out, there was a spelling mistake in his father’s name in the documents back in India.

Mathiazhaagan, 56, said he understood this (the reason behind not getting the clearance) simply after his most recent request for repatriation was taken up by two social workers in the UAE after he looked for their help to get back during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He revealed to Gulf News that he came to the UAE in 2000 after paying Rs 120,000 (Dh6,048) to a recruitment agent for an occupation in Abu Dhabi. This could be confirmed from the stamp on his employment visa entry permit. The main document that Mathiazhaagan has safeguarded, aside from a copy of the last page of his passport.

He said the agent had taken his passport, guaranteeing that his residence visa would be stamped in the passport once he gets the medical fitness certificate issued.

Mathiazhaagan said that: I took the medical test and waited for my employment visa. But, the agent kept delaying it and later I got to know that the company, which was supposed to hire me, had shut down. Eventually, he stated, the agent quit answering his calls and couldn’t be traced at all later.  I stayed in a room with some people from my native place. I lived there for eight months with no job. After that, I came to Sharjah and started doing odd jobs.

Mathiazhaagan said he illegally stayed in the UAE to take care of his family by doing low maintenance and part-time jobs for different families and companies.

He claimed that he pursued returning home during the previous visa amnesty offers in the UAE and lost more than Dh10,000 to people who vowed to assist him with the clearance of his documents that never came through.

Before the fine waiver reported this year till November 17, for individuals with expired visas or who had their visas cancelled before March 1 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE government had granted visa amnesties four times before in the year 2003, 2007, 2012 and 2018.

Gulf News couldn’t independently confirm if Mathiazhaagan had undoubtedly applied for an emergency certificate (EC), a one-way travel document gave to Indians without a valid passport, to encourage their return back to their home, during the earlier instances of amnesty.

Be that as it may, A. K. Mahadevan and Chandra Prakash. P, both of them helped Mathiazhaagan get an emergency certificate through the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, he had failed to get identity clearance from India during the pandemic. They said they got to know the reason for the rejection simply after Mathiazhaagan met Mahadevan, looking for help to return home.

“His name is ThanavelMathiazhaagan as per the copy of the last page of his lost passport and the UAE entry permit,” said Prakash, the Vice-President of Indian People’s Forum, a community association that likewise pitched to get a travel clearance for Masthiazhaagan.

Prakash stated: Unfortunately, the documents sent by Trichy Regional Passport Office to the Senthurai Police Station for his identity verification showed his father’s name as Thangavel whereas his father’s actual name is Thanavel — according to all other records. The additional letter ‘g’ in the name created the problem.

Prakash continued: The duo said they approached the Indian Embassy and the nearby offices in Mathiazhaagan’s town to redress the mistake and process his documents. “Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor took a special interest in solving this case after the issue was taken up with him,

Mahadevan said he was cheerful that Mathiazhaagan would be flying home soon and meeting his youngest little daughter, who had not been conceived when he left India for the UAE.


source: with input from ians