An Indian expat in the UAE will finally be able to return home after two decades after he was granted a waiver of nearly Dh 750,000 (USD 204,195) in overstay fines, according to a media report.
Thanavel Mathiazhaagan, 56, arrived in the UAE in 2000 through a recruitment agent on the promise of a job.
The agent, who also took Mr Mathiazhaagan’s passport, later went missing and he had to illegally stay in the UAE to provide for his family in India by doing part-time jobs, the Gulf News reported.
Mr Mathiazhaagan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, sought help from two social workers in the UAE to return home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The only documents he possessed was his employment visa entry permit and a copy of the last page of his passport, the report said.
AK Mahadevan and Chandra Prakash, who helped Mr Mathiazhaagan get an emergency certificate through the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, said he had failed to get identity clearance from India during the pandemic as there was a mismatch in his father’s name in documents back home and that shown in his passport.
Emergency certificate is a one-way travel document issued to Indians without a valid passport, to facilitate their return home, it said.
The duo said they approached the Indian embassy and the local departments in Mr Mathiazhaagan’s village to rectify the mistake and process his documents, it said.
“Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor took special interest in solving this case after the issue was taken up with him,” Mr Prakash was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.