UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Major changes in immigration rules announced
On 13 June 2018, the government announced significant changes to the immigration and foreign labor systems of the UAE.
The changes will affect current and future foreign national employees and their employers.
What are the changes?
Among the changes announced so far are the following:
• The requirement for an AED 3000 bank guarantee per worker will be replaced with an insurance scheme costing only AED 60 per worker per year;
• New six-month temporary visas will be introduced for job-seekers, to increase retention of professionals in the UAE;
• A new two-year visa for talented and outstanding students;
• Visa adjustment and renewal to be done in-country, for a fee (no exit/re-entry required);
• Exemption of visa fees for transit passengers for the first 48 hours, with an extension for up to 96 hours;
• New options visa overstayers, including an exemption from fines in case of voluntary departure and the possibility of visa transfer, exit with a two-year “no entry” stamp or exit without a “no entry” stamp on condition of paying for the flight ticket; and
• “People of Determination” (people with special needs) will have equal access to the job market.
Employers who may be affected by the announced changes are advised to contact their immigration specialist for the latest information and case-specific guidance.