Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Six Month Immigration Ban to Continue in Dubai

Ministry of Interior used to put an automatic six-month ban on expatriates if they cancelled their employment / residence visas or left their jobs. The decision to lift the immigration ban that came into effect on 21 st August 2005 has brought some relief to expatriate community. It would enable the people to return to UAE on a visit visa even if they got a labour ban. The main advantage of the new decision is that people can still come back and visit their friends and relatives. But expatriates who violated the country’s Immigration and Residence Laws would still face the entry ban.
Article 6 of the Cabinet Decree No. 18 of 2005 annulled Decree No. 30 of 2001 pertaining to the entry ban. The Cabinet also authorized the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to put together necessary regulations to implement the decision on the ban.
Subsequently, iris scanning has also been stopped. Besides, the names of expatriates with cancelled visas will no longer be on the administrative lists nor will their passports be stamped with the ban. The ban to enter the UAE will only be applicable on expatriates who violate laws governing the entry and residence of foreigners. Such violators would face the entry ban administratively for a multitude of reasons and in line with existing laws and regulations.
Domestic help have been excluded ‘temporarily’ from the new decision and their case will undergo further scrutiny by the authorities.
But, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will not issue a new work permit to workers whose visas have been cancelled unless at least six months elapse after the cancellation date of the worker’s labour card. The decision came in Article No. 11 of a Ministerial Order Decision No. 826 issued on 11.9.2005 by the UAE Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
The six-month waiting period does not apply to government departments or free zones