A Filipino woman who has been staying in the United Arab Emirates illegally is being allowed to return home after learning of her son’s death in the Philippines.

Maria Isabelle, who went to the UAE in 2008, worked as a nanny in Abu Dhabi legally until 2014. She went back to the Philippines and then returned to the UAE on a visitor visa to look for employment, Khaleej Times reported.

However, Isabelle was not successful and had to go back to the Philippines. She returned to the UAE several times on a visitor visa until she decided to stay despite her visa expiring.

“During my last visit, I overstayed my visa. About 10 months later, I found a job and an employer willing to sponsor me [for] a visa,” she said.

Isabelle could not get a work visa because of pending immigration fines that had accumulated during her overstays. When an amnesty program was announced, she said she would take advantage of it to regularize her status in the country.

However, she received news that her 23-year-old son had died in an accident on Sunday in the Philippines, and she was desperate to return home for his funeral. She said she applied for amnesty and was granted an exit pass in just an hour, and was to head home on Thursday.