As one of the leading countries that are consistently developing human resource assets, the UAE has a lot to offer for expats and residents alike. Several laws pertaining to the topic of employment permits and visas are put into place to help workers in the UAE make the best of their stay.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) provides work permits in the UAE. Company owners or employers must seek permission from the MoHRE for work permits.
Article 1 of the Ministerial Decree No. 766 of 2015 states that an employee can apply for a new work permit after his/her employment gets terminated because of contract expiry. The new work permit by the way, has to be applied for only when he/she wishes to join a new job.
Conditions to Avail New Permit
A new permit can be availed by an employee for all limited and non-limited contracts if following conditions are met.
- The employer has not met the legal and contractual obligations, including the failure to pay wages for more than 60 days.
- If the company where the employee was working has been inactive for more than two months, the employee can report it to the MoHRE during this period.
- The final ruling in a labour case is on the employee’s favour or when the case is about outstanding wages or early termination.
If the employee is in the UAE however, he/she must be able to transfer residency to a different sponsor.
New Permits for Skilled Workers
The requirement of a six month employment condition is not applicable for workers who are qualified through educational degrees. As per the ministerial decree, skill sets 1, 2 and 3 are qualification sets that require workers to be holding university degree, post-secondary diploma and high school diploma respectively.
New Permits for Unskilled Workers
An unskilled worker must have completed six months of employment in a company, after which a mutual consent for termination of contract must be had between the employer and worker.
When the worker hasn’t completed the six months but if the employer has terminated the worker unfairly, the ministerial decree allows issue of a new permit.
Availing a Work Visa
The HoHRE as well as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) are in-charge of issuing work visas in the UAE.
The work permit is issued to an expatriate by MoHRE and GDRFA allows the holder to join a job in UAE and is valid for two months since date of issue. The sponsoring company however, will be arranging joining formalities like medical testing, obtaining UAE Resident ID and Labour Card.
The sponsoring company must also stamp the work residency permit on the worker’s passport with a validity of 60 days. After the employee’s passport has been stamped with the work residency permit by the sponsoring company, the employee is deemed to be sponsored by that company.
Family members of the employee can be sponsored by him/her after the work residency permit is granted.
Availing an Offshore Work Visa
The UAE has made procurement of offshore work visas reachable and accessible to people who need this form of visas. The MoHRE and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Internal Cooperation have set up information centers in several places outside the UAE for the same purpose.
Employees are given the lawful information like rights, duties, terms of employment and entitled privileges in several languages. Through these centers, the employee is kept well aware of the contractual relationship between employers.
The situation where an employer might attempt to replace job offer upon the employee’s entry to UAE is completely eliminated.
Age Limit for Work Permit
There are no age relaxations for termination of employment of expatriates on basis of seniority. In other words, the UAE’s Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 (amended) does not make a mention of any particular age for the employee’s contract to be terminated.
However, the MoHRE demands a fee of AED 5,000 for issuing an initial approval for work permit of employees who are aged 65 and above.
The UAE Government has made getting work permits easy since the information is available online. Several laws put into existence, help employees and employers alike by giving laws that protect them.
UAE has become a hub for development that has an ever growing demand for human resource. In order to aid the demand, the UAE Government has dedicated laws that clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the company and employee.
Is your employer authorised to withhold your passport? (Note: Hyperlink this text with the following link https://thelawreporters.com/is-your-employer-authorised-to-withhold-your-passport/)