On Monday, an Indian family of seven received four Indian passports after living illegally in the country for over 30 years, Khaleej Times reported.
The 60-year-old Indian father, Madhusudhanan, was able to guarantee official passports to four of his five children, while the eldest remains with no valid documents.
Relieved with the news, Madhusudhanan told Khaleej Times that "they [his children] don't have to live in fear anymore."
"For almost three decades, my children lived as prisoners inside their own house. Now, they can live freely and pursue their dream of getting a job in the UAE. It is like a rebirth for them," he added.
With a confirmation from Shri Prem Chand, consul of Passport, Attestation and Community Affairs, and Welfare at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, the four children can now "apply for a work permit without any legal impediments."
Madhusudhanan moved to the UAE in 1979 to work as a blue-collar worker, and married his Sri Lankan wife, Rohini, in 1988.
After delivering their five children - Ashwathy, 29; Sangeetha, 25; Shanthi, 23; Gauri, 22; and Mithun, 21 - the expat parents found themselves out of jobs on many occasions.
The unemployment phases discouraged them from applying for passports for their UAE-born children. When they finally succeeded, the four younger children's passports expired in 2012 as they continued to live in the country without residence visas or valid documents.
The eldest daughter, Ashwathy, hasn't received her passport yet, and will have to apply for one after she gets registered in Abu Dhabi - since she was born in Al Ain.
As for the mother, her "passport application is under process at the Sri Lankan consulate," said Madhusudhanan, according to Khaleej Times.
The family's situation drew media attention
Back in July, the Indian family's situation grabbed media attention, which translated in many people contacting the family and offering them jobs.
The children never attended school and were home-schooled by their mother.
The media coverage drew the attention of officials from India's Consulate in Dubai, who later helped with the "documentation as requested by the family."
UAE launched visa amnesty program for illegal expats
In August, the UAE launched a visa amnesty program - first announced in June - that would help all illegal expats residing in the country to legalize their status.
The three-month program - ending on October 31 - gives the option for overstaying residents to "exit the country without paying fines or facing jail or getting ban [sic] or they can rectify their status by getting a new-sponsored valid visa," according the UAE's government website.
Hundreds of illegal expats showed up on the first day.
According to Al Bawaba, this would be the country's third amnesty of the sort in the past decade.
In 2007, over 342,000 residents applied for the visa amnesty program, while 60,000 made use of it in 2012 and 2013.