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Mon 30 Mar 2009 01:41 AM

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UAE work visas may be extended - report

Individuals whose work visas are revoked following redundancy, may be given more time to find a job.

Individuals whose work visas have been cancelled, following redundancy, may soon be able to stay in the UAE for a longer period of time to find work, according to a report in Emirates Business.

At present, UAE labour and immigration laws require expats who have lost their jobs, to find work within one month - or leave.

The newspaper quoted Hani Rashid Al Hamli, Dubai Economic Council (DEC) Secretary-General, who said Dubai, along with the federal government, is "working on" stretching the grace period for holders of cancelled visas. The length of the likely extension wasn’t given.

The report added that the new policy, which may be announced in the first half of this year, is expected to address the potential cases of job cuts due to the financial crisis.

"This is one of the top and urgent issues that we are tackling at the Dubai branch and at the federal level - to have a longer (grace) period. They are working on that, I can assure you of that," Al Hamli told the newspaper.

Al Hamli, when asked whether the new policy would take affect in the second half of the year, indicated it would be earlier than that, perhaps in one month or two months, although he couldn’t go into specifics due to the government having to upgrade the immigration laws, which will take a measure of time.

ismail 10 years ago

Dubai Govt has stated that those who will buy the property will have visa and now they have change their policy. Investors all over the world has been aware about this issue and sorry to say Govt lost their trust and words for any policy.

jv 10 years ago

Get Real. Unless the govt issues permanant residence visas, renewable every 3-5 years - as Singapore does- that allow one to work where they want, this country is not going to get back on its feet. The UAE has a lot going for it- sunny climate, safety, no drugs. All the Govt really has to do is make it economically attractive- cheaper- and easier for people to make it their permanant home.

Rainigade 10 years ago

When the first spate of redundancies began in September/October last year, we already heard the FNC say that the visas should be extended to three months in case of redundancies. Four months down the line - NADA! Its only now that apartments and villas are lying empty because people have to go back in a month's time - even if they have the money to stay on - and the prices are falling everywhere, that someone somewhere finally sat up and heard the penny drop. I just hope that the decision is implemented in time.

BV 10 years ago

This issue was brought up approximately 3 months ago when the whole issue first started and major redundancy-related visa issues were rising. It was then stated that an answer to the problem would be announced within a week. 3 months later still nothing has happened and they make essentialy the same statement again. However... in the mean time the UAE government has tried to deny allegations of mass lay-offs and abandonment of hundreds of cars at the airport (which I have witnessed personally) stating that there were only... 9??? Oh... and not to mention making it ILLEGAL for international private firms to make a local redundant even if (s)he is underperforming radically and can't be bothered doing any better. (because this law is really going to encourage them).

gnet 10 years ago

Can someone please clarify the procedures when someone resigned from his/her job under her/his probationary period within 6 months? Is the 6-month automatic ban to reapply for working visa in the labour department still effective?

cholo jopson 10 years ago

The proposition indicates the willingness of the federal government to help expatriates overcome the plight the current recession has led them to. The fed knows more economic embroglio could happen when the expat workers all leave the country only with shattered hopes. Late though, the move once laid, must be known to both private and public employment sectors, along with the free zones. Prior to this news, some private employers resort to drastic steps such as having the workers' visas cancelled sooner than expected, only to hire new staff at lesser salaries, and those who are on their husbands' visas. Amid the crunch, now live the recalcitrants of opportunism in Dubai.

Di 10 years ago

People have been out of jobs since October, they need to implement this new rule immediately, not a month or two down the track. Otherwise people will continue to skip out on debt as they have no alternative but to get out. Act quick Dubai Economic Council!

Tom de Luca 10 years ago

@ ismail, dubai Let us be fair, but I never got the promise from "the Government" or a government official, but from greedy real estate agents (and companies). Further I never saw a legislation regarding this topic in Dubai. If you loose trust, certainly to the word of real estate agents, but not the Government. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong; greetings, tom


It is a good decession. if this will be implemented, the job loosers stay and find the new job.

faisal 10 years ago

I lost my job recently after a few clients terminated their contracts with my company. Despite over 10 years of experience here in the UAE and two months of intense job hunt I din't even get an interview call. My wife - who is employed in Dubai and earns AED10,000 plus a month - was denied permission to sponsor me on residence and the Dubai DNRD official told her "let your husband find a job". We stay in a building owned by the Dubai Real Estate Corporation and now they have increased the rent by 10% for those who have been staying here for two years. My employer will cancel my visa this week and I keep myself cheerful reading about things like '$10 billion bonds', 'market rally', 'flattening not contraction', 'humanitarian grounds' etc. The 'grace period extension' makes one more to that list