DHS awards deportation amnesty for Ethiopians
As it turned out, the Diaspora Affairs Committee of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) decided to grant residency status to approximately 4,000 Ethiopians.
Accordingly, the DHA is now processing their application papers, and will send their first instalment through the mail in the coming days. The department’s Director General, Mr. Dinesh Ram, said the decision to grant residency was due to an outstanding petition submitted by the Ethiopians through the Office of the Attorney General of India. The petition alleged that they “had been residing for a long time in India, but were not granted permanent residence due to lack of valid documents,” and asked the government, therefore, to grant them permanent residence.
The petition was filed on July 17, 2017. Its submission, however, was delayed by nearly a year, with the department claiming that the process was taking too long. Finally, on October 26, 2018 the Ethiopian government finally decided to grant them a residency visa.
The authorities, however, have been saying that the decision will come in the next few weeks, and that they will send their visas to the petitioners in the coming days.
The government is required by the law to “prevent non-permanent residents” from obtaining permanent residence.
According to the Home Ministry, a foreigner has the “right to seek permanent residence immediately upon landing in Singapore or getting a residence permit or visa to visit Singapore or getting Singapore citizenship and thereafter seeking permanent residence”.
The ministry further noted that it has “been informed by Department of Home Affairs that in order to obtain permanent residence to permanent resident you need to submit a petition before the Diaspora Affairs Committee of DHA or before the National Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (NICA) for Singapore citizenship.”
The authorities noted in their statement that the petitioners are “a group of individuals who have been residing in India for a long time,” and that the DHA had granted them a visa in February this year. The DHA said that after an “inadvertent error” had occurred in the submission of the petition, and that the relevant authorities were given the