NRI in UAE Seeks Indian Citizenship for His Sri Lankan Children

Mohammad Bathrudeen is seeking Indian citizenship for his two toddlers after his Sri Lankan wife abandoned the family in UAE.


An unemployed Indian citizen, who has been living in the United Arab Emirates with his two children, is seeking Indian citizenship for his two young children.

Mohammad Bathrudeen was living in the country with his Sri Lankan wife, who abandoned the family in 2017,  Gulf News reported. She also took his salary and ATM card, the report cited Bathrudeen as saying. For the last 10 months, he has been living with his toddlers, Anthony Johnson, 3, and Mary Johanna Fernando, 2, in a labor accommodation at Ajman, and is now seeking help to return to his home in Tamil Nadu, the publication added.

He is currently struggling to get the right documents, as the children had Sri Lankan passports and no legal birth certificate from U.A.E officials.

Bathrudeen told the publication that he married the Sri Lankan woman in 2014.  Soon after the couple’s first baby was born, he lost his job in 2015. At the time of the child’s birth, his wife was staying with her mother in Bur Dubai. Their second child was born when they moved to Ajman in 2016.

“She was born in Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah. I have her vaccination card, but I don’t even have that for my son,” he was quoted as saying by the publication.

Later, in 2017, Bathrudeen’s wife left with his money, ATM card and the attested marriage certificate. He later got to know that she had been working in Sri Lanka.

“She took Dh1,800 from my pocket and my salary with the ATM card I had given her to pay the house rent. Her mother had also gone home 10 days before that,” Bathrudeen said, adding that she contacted him again via email, asking for his number, and started chatting with him.

“She promised to come back to us and sought money to buy a new visa. I sent her Sri Lankan rupees 300,000 (Dh6,550), after which she blocked me on WhatsApp,” the report quoted him as saying.

One of his friends recently informed him that she is working in Qatar, he said.

Bathrudeen lost his job again in the latter half of 2017. He said that he wants to take benefit from the UAE government’s visa amnesty, but has not got official approval due to lack of right documents for the children. He has surrendered his passport, and appealed for cancellation of their Sri Lankan citizenship.

The Indian Consulate confirmed to the publication that they received an application from Bathrudeen. “We have also received a note from the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai that they have surrendered the children’s passports. We are examining the request for Indian citizenship. The main problem is that the children don’t have birth certificates issued by the UAE authorities, which is a mandatory requirement to initiate the process of citizenship. We have guided the father to approach relevant local authorities in this regard,” the report quoted an official as saying.

The visa amnesty program was launched by the UAE government on Aug.1, which would enable foreign workers overstaying their permits, to leave the country without paying any fine or undergoing jail term. It also allows workers to look for a new job within six months.

The UAE is home to an estimated 2.8 million Indian emigrants, the largest expatriate community in the country, according to a previous PTI report.

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