UAE residence visas reduced to two years from January

New regulations also stipulate 15% Emiratisation for all private sector firms
UAE residence visas reduced to two years from January
VISA REDUCED: UAE residence visas and labour cards will be reduced from three years to two years for all private sector firms from Jan 2011 (Getty Images)
By Ed Attwood
Wed 08 Dec 2010 11:20 AM

Labour card validity will be reduced from three years to two years for all UAE private sector workers from January next year, according to new regulations from the Ministry of Labour.

The move will have a knock-on effect on residence visas, which will also be reduced to two years.

State news agency WAM reported that the decision would lower the time that private sector employees are obliged to spend with one employer. 

The ministry also said that the new regulations would bring all private sector workers in line with drivers and domestic helpers, who only get two-year labour cards from the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

"It [the decision] will have a positive impact on the labour market as it will create more flexibility in the employer-employee relationship, and will allow both parties to this relationship a shorter time," said Humaid bin Deemas, the assistant undersecretary for labour affairs at the Ministry of Labour, according to WAM. 

Earlier this month, Minister of Labour Saqr Gobash set out new rules for Emiratisation, which will again be effective from next month.

Among the changes is a requirement for private sector firms to have no less than 15 percent of Emiratis on their workforce.

Fines for companies failing to observe the Emiratisation policy are as much as AED20,000 ($5400).

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