After the UAE government announced the Amnesty scheme to send back illegal immigrants in November 2012, the state government has decided to bring back the eligible immigrants from the UAE within 15 days.
The last date for filing application is Monday. “All eligible illegal immigrants should apply before Sunday. The state government will book flight tickets for flying them back to AP within 15 days,” civil supplies minister D Sridhar Babu told reporters Sunday.
He said state government would get to know the actual number of illegal immigrants only once applications are submitted at the Indian embassy in the UAE.
However, sources peg the number at around 50,000 in various Emirates such as Sharjah and Dubai, with around 12,000 hailing from Andhra Pradesh.
So far 4,000 illegal immigrants from the state have applied with the embassy, sources said. “If illegal immigrants are unable to come back due lack of finances, on health grounds or due to old age, the government will arrange for financial help,” Babu said, adding that the government would support them once they returned through various employment generation schemes. “Travel agents exploit illiterate people who look for jobs in Gulf countries by sending them on visit visa, tourist visa and such other categories instead of work visa,” the minister said.
Babu said an all-party delegation was sent to all the Gulf countries to know the condition of AP people there.
To enable furnishing of information of people who had gone to Gulf countries by their relatives, one cell each has been set up in Karimnagar, Medak, Kadapa, West Godavari and Nizamabad, the five districts from where maximum immigrants hail. He said the state government was also contemplating creating an NRI fund with the help of NRIs and NGOs to provide succour to Gulf victims, adding that this type of assistance is already being provided in Kerala and Gujarat.