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Expatriates with traffic fines cannot leave UAE

 Expatriates who have committed road offences will not be allowed to leave the UAE unless they pay all their traffic fines in line with new Interior Ministry measures.

The ministry said the new rules would be later expanded to cover all other financial obligations by expatriates seeking to cancel their visa and leave the country.

“We have linked procedures to cancel visas for expatriates with the payment of all their traffic fines.This step is intended to ensure departing expatriates will pay all their financial dues to the state,” said Brigadier Rashid Sultan Al Khadr, Director, Legal Affairs Department at the Interior Ministry.

“This is just a first step as it affects only individuals who apply for visa cancellation and must now pay their traffic fines. The ministry is also considering expanding this experience in the near future so all visa and immigration procedures will be linked to payment of all dues, including traffic, civil defence and other fees,” he told the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emarat Al Youm.

Khadr said the computer systems of the traffic police have already been linked to those in all immigration departments in the UAE.“This means no application for visa cancellation by expatriates will be approved and they will not be allowed to leave the UAE unless they pay all their traffic fines.”

He said the new measures are part of an overall plan designed to cope with what he described as “the new developments and changes”, adding they would help bolster security for people and protect the country’s rights.

According to Emarat Al Youm, drivers in the UAE committed around 1.95 million traffic offences in the first quarter of 2013.