More updates about UAE visa rules
Posted by Admin on June 19, 2008
Interior Ministry lifts 6-month re-entry ban
The Expatriate employees welcomed the new policy for providing them freedom to change jobs. Employers, however, also want appropriate checks and balances to be in place to prevent anyone from taking undue advantage of the situation. has announced that effective 21 August, it will stop stamping the six-month re-entry ban on the passports of expatriate workers in the private sector whose residence visas have been cancelled. As a result, expatriate workers whose residence visas had been cancelled can now re-enter the UAE on any type of visa, other than employment. Moreover, a source from the labor ministry confirmed that with the lifting of the ban, the ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) would no longer be required for expatriate workers seeking a job transfer. The approval of the old sponsor would be in the form of affixing his signature on the sponsorship , which would also bear the signature of the new sponsor.
UAE citizenship for highly-skilled professionals
Labor Minister Dr. Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi recently proposed the granting of UAE citizenship to a select category of highly qualified and skilledprofessionals who have the potential to contribute to national development. According to the minister, such a move would allow the country to benefit from the expertise of these professionals.
Interior Ministry introduces new 90-day mission entry visa
Interior Minister Lt. Gen, Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan has decreed the introduction of a new 90-day entry visa. The new three-month visa called, the Mission Entry Visa, will be issued to expatriate workers hired for short-term special projects for an initial fee of Dh600. This new visa canbe renewed for another three months for a fee of Dh1,200. The Mission Entry Visa can be issued to engineers, doctors, lawyers and technicians to carry out an urgent or emergency assignment for a licensed company or a public or private institution duly registered in the UAE. The spouse and children can accompany the visa holder. The new visa was allegedly designed to simplify the recruitment process for the employment of selectforeign temporary workers and, at the same time, put an end to the abuse of the visit visa for employment purposes.
Category A companies predominateThe classification of companies based on the percentage of their work force belonging to the same nationality is as follows: firms with 30 percent or less are under category A, while those with 31 to 74 percent are under category B and those listed as category C are firms with over 75 percent of staff having the same nationality. According to the Labor Ministry, out of some 440,000 companies registered in the UAE, 359,000 are or 81.8 percent in category A; 36,000 are in category B; and 44,000 are in category C. In terms of number of workers, category A companies employ about 18 per cent or 450,000 out of 2.5 million expatriate workers in the country. However, a senior ministry official cautioned that the data could be deceiving since many of the companies in category A have either closed down or actually employ fewer than four workers, thus exempting them from the mixed-nationality and emiratization requirements.
Construction firms strive to diversify workforce
Assistant undersecretary for labor Humaid bin Dimas clarified that even if the construction industry were not subject to the emiratization quota, the
Labor Ministry would nevertheless recognize the companies’ initiatives to meet the two percent annual quota imposed on commercial companies with 50 or more workers. Hence, construction companies, which rely heavily on thousands of foreign laborers, have a chance to be upgraded from category B or C to category A if they meet the stipulated criteria, as well as the emiratization quota and diversification of culture requirements. This has prompted a number of companies to start diversifying the nationalities of their laborers to conform to the prescribed culture balance.
Visa violations by
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs allegedly found 579 cases of visa violations among foreign workers employed in various private companies during the first eight months of the year. Of this number, 287 were on visit visas, 122 on domestic worker visas and 170 on parental visas. The Labor Law requires foreigners who want to work in the private sector to first obtain the necessary work permit or labor card from the ministry.
Shelter for runway Filipino
Philippine labor attaché in Dubai Vicente Cabe confirmed that the consulate has provided shelter to more than 60 runaway Filipino domestic workers who were seeking protection from abusive employers. According to Cabe, 90 percent of the runaway domestic workers who have sought refuge at the consulate accused their employers of non-payment of wages while others complained of verbal abuse, ill treatment or sexual harassment. Cabe also expressed concern over the recent surge in the number of runaway domestic workers, which is putting a strain on the shelter’s capacity. Meanwhile, a group of overseas Filipino workers in the Philippines has asked Manila to file a formal protest and to review its diplomatic ties with the UAE in the light of increasing reports of abuses of Filipino domestic workers.
Longer break for outdoor laborers
Last June, the Cabinet passed a resolution allowing a longer mid-day break, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm, for all outdoor laborers during the summer months of July and August. Workers who are denied this entitlement are encouraged to complain to the ministry.
Buraimi students seek clarification
Many expatriate students, mostly from India and Pakistan , who live in the neighboring Omani town of Buraimi , come to Al Ain daily to attend school without having to present travel documents. However, last June the Abu Dhabi police sent a circular to the Al Ain schools saying that the federal law requires these students to secure permits to enter the UAE. A few days before the start of classes this year, there were rumors that the circular has been withdrawn. Parents have been inquiring on the status of the directive; so far, authorities have not communicated further with the schools. According to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi , about 750 Indian students would be affected by the circular.
One-stop shop for immigration transactions
The Abu Dhabi Naturalization and Residency Department is ready to set up a one-stop Special Services Office to speed up processing of all immigration and naturalization transactions. The one-stop shop, to be operated by qualified personnel using the latest technology, is intended to enhance UAE’s image as a “modern, red tape-free” country.