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Mon 29 Dec 2014 12:10 PM

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Expat workers forced to pay UAE visa renewals

Manual workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal pay extra fees in order to keep job

Expat workers forced to pay UAE visa renewals

Expat workers are being illegally charged up to AED15,000 ($4,083) every two years by employers to renew employment visas, according to an embassy employee.

The cost of renewing a visa for a manual worker is AED2,879 and according to law, the employer pays this cost. However, expats from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, who are employed by small-business owners, end up paying not only the cost of the visa but more on top in order to secure the work visa.

Speaking to The National newspaper, Mohammed Shahadat Husain, a counsellor at the Bangladesh embassy in Abu Dhabi, said he was aware of numerous cases where employees were being charged thousands of dirhams to renew visas.

“The exploitation starts from AED5,000 reaching up to AED15,000 in some cases. Sponsors take this money. They literally threaten to cancel the visa if the visa charges are not paid,” Husain said.

“I have cases in my own hand. One Bangladeshi came to me this morning and told me his sponsor was demanding AED10,000 for renewal,” he added.

Similar cases have been reported to the Nepalese and Pakistani embassies.

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Mujeeb Haroon 5 years ago

Many people from Pakistan came to Emirates to work and to earn better income. But at renewal such amount has to be paid either legal or illegal to the sponsor. Other than he has to loose the visa and get back to his country . If the Emirates Government takes some series measures that will be a great help for such employees with millions of continues blessings.
These are the employees (Expats) who came far from home leaving their love ones, children , parents and many facilities that he gets from home for better income.

Muhammad 5 years ago

I know one industry construction, which is the biggest in UAE , majority of their labor (carpenter, masen, plumbers, tile workers, helpers, etc.) pays for their visa fees starting from 3000 dhms to 10000 dhms. They have been hired on monthly wages and eventually been paid hourly. Sometimes, they donts have work for many days so they are not paid as i mentioned earlier they paid hourly. The labor is completely uneducated and they even don't know about their rights as well. If more than one million people works in construction or helper in any industry, more than 50% pays their visas fees and they dont even open their mouth since they are scared to loose their visa from their sponsors.the government knows it very well and they are part and parcel of this crime, but they close their eyes otherwise they loose their bigger interest such as 3000 dhms as labour security fees, many other fees they charge etc. I can write a complete book on labor in UAE and their problems.

Nasir 5 years ago

Very true and so great to read it here. Muhammad, I would be more than willing to help in gathering information related to this research. I support you all the way for any assistance related to this cause in my capacity, to stop this open exploitation.