Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Transfer of Sponsorship in UAE - Cabinet and Ministerial resolutions

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS’ RESOLUTION NO 30, FOR 2001, REGARDING TRANSFER OF SPONSORSHIP, CATEGORIES ALLOWED TO TRANSFER SPONSORSHIP, AND PERTINENT CONDITIONS
The Council of Ministers; After having reference to the Constitution; And to the Federal Law No 1, for 1972, on the functions of the Ministries and the powers of the Ministers, and the amending laws thereof;And to the Federal Law No 8 for 1980, on regulation of Labor relations, and the amending laws thereof; And to the Council of Ministers’ resolution No 17 for 1993, on converting visitor’s visa into employment visa;
And to the Council of Ministers’ resolution No 559/29 for 2001, on the transfer of sponsorship, the categories permitted to transfer their sponsorship, and the pertinent conditions; and based on the submission of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and the approval of the Council of Ministers;
RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS
ARTICLE ONE
First: Categories Permitted to Transfer Sponsorship:
1. Engineers.
2. Physicians, pharmacists, and nurses.
3. University and higher college teaching staff.
4. Legal, economic, financial and management experts and advisors holding post-graduate degrees.
5. Electronic information systems analyzers and programmers holding university degrees in these areas.
6. Specialists and technicians engaged in extraction and refining of oil and gas and related industries.
7. Sports coaches in the various sports and educational activities.
8. Specialists in marine and air navigation and in ship and plane pilotage.
9. Any other categories within the above mentioned rare specializations, to be mutually agreed between the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Second: Conditions for Transfer of Sponsorship:
1. The laborer or employee must work with the new employer in the same occupation he was engaged in with the former employer.
2. The laborer or employee must have a valid residence permit affixed to his passport.
3. The laborer or employee must have worked for at least two years with his former employer.
4. The laborer or employee must obtain his sponsor’s consent to the transfer of his sponsorship after the lapse of two years.
5. If a UAE National or a GCC citizen cannot fill up the post registered as job seeker with the concerned authorities in the UAE.
Third: Notwithstanding the above conditions, transfer of sponsorship may be permitted in the following cases:
1. Transfer to another firm owned by the same firm owner(s).
2. Transfer from one branch to another in the same company or establishment, or from a com pany/establishment to another company/establishment owned by the same employer.
3. Transfer as a result of transfer of the company’s/establishment’s ownership to another company, establishment or individual.
Fourth: Without prejudice to the above provisions on transfer of sponsorship, the residence permit of those who can not meet the prescribed conditions for transfer of sponsorship shall be cancelled.Those shall not be issued new residence permit or entry visa except after the lapse of six months from the date of last departure from the UAE or after the lapse of the embargo period specified in the laws in force. The one-year embargo stamp shall continue to apply to household servants and related categories. The precondition of canceling the residence permit shall apply to the workers who have suit cases before the courts and do not meet the conditions of transfer of sponsorship.
Fifth: The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, each in its respective area, and in coordination between them, shall issue an explanatory memorandum on the job categories for which transfer of sponsorship is permissible and the conditions applicable to transfer of sponsorship.
ARTICLE TWO
Any provisions contrary to this resolution shall be null and void.
ARTICLE THREE
The authorities concerned, each in its respective area, shall implement this resolution, which shall be published in the official Gazette and shall come into force on its date of issue. Issued in Abu Dhabi on the 3rd of Sh’aban 1422, corresponding to the 20th of October 2001.
Ministerial Resolution No. 123 for 2001,Amending Ministerial Resolution No 230 for 1997, on Transfer of Sponsorship
The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; After having reference to Federal Law No. (1) For 1972, on the
functions of ministries and the responsibilities of ministers; And to the Federal Law No. (8) for 1980, on regulation of labor relations, and the amending laws thereof; And to the ministerial resolution No 230 for 1997 on rules of shifting of non-national labor from one employment to another and the procedures to be followed pending transfer of their sponsorship. And based on the submission of the Ministry’s Under-Secretary for the Labor Sector
Resolves as follows:
Article (1)It is a precondition for transfer of non-National labor from their present to another employer- pending ransfer of their sponsorship in the exceptional cases specified under clauses “C”, “D”, and “E” of Article 3 of the Ministerial Resolution No 230 for 1997- that the request for transfer of sponsorship be submitted within six months at most from the date on which the firm is closed down or declared bankrupt, liquidated or wound up by court ruling, or the employer dies and the firm is closed down as a result.
Article (2) This resolution shall take effect as of the date hereof and all concerned organizations shall implement it, each in its respective area.
MINISTERIAL DECISION NO. 565 FOR 2005, REGARDING THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS RENTED OUT TO OTHER COMPANIES
• After having reference to the Federal Law No.( 1) for 1972, on the functions of ministries and the responsibilities of ministers;
• And to the Federal Law No. (8) for 1980, on regulation of Labor relations, and the amending laws thereof;
Decides as follows:
Article 1 The working conditions offered to rented workers should be the same or better than those in the company renting out its workers.
Article 2 A rented worker’s term of service shall extend for a fixed period of time not exceeding 12 months.
Article 3A rented worker’s service with the new and original employers shall be considered uninterrupted term during which the worker will be entitled to his salary and other benefits as per the provisions of the Labor law.
Article 4 The application presented to the Ministry shall particularly indicate the starting date of renting out, type of work, location, duration and the salary in accordance with the forms specified by the competent undersecretary.
Article 5 Both the borrowing and original sponsors shall be responsible, together and separately for the workers’ rights according to the Labor law and the work contract.
Article 6 The service of a rented worker shall terminate upon the expiry of its period or one year after its commencement. Thereafter, his contract with the original employer shall remain valid without interruption.
Article 7 No commission, fees or any financial charges shall be imposed on a rented worker.
Article 8 In the event a conflict arises, the worker may place a complaint against the new and original employers, who shall be obliged to fulfill all ensuing rights entitled to the worker as per the provisions of the law and the work contract.
Article 9 It shall not be permissible to hire workers, allow their work with parties other than the original employer, or otherwise perform any act that contravenes the provisions of this decision.
Article 10 Without prejudice to any penalties provided in the law and the executive regulations, any firm that violates the provisions of this decision shall have to pay double official transaction fees for every application to the Ministry, and shall forfeit its eligibility for a license to bring in foreign workers to the country for at least six years from the date on which such double payment was made.
Article 11 The competent undersecretary shall issue decisions and measures in respect to the implementation of this decision in the best manner.
Article 12 This decision shall take effect as of the date of its issue and shall be published in the official gazette.
MINISTERIAL DECISION NO. 826 FOR 2005, REGARDING THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS
FOR LABOR SPONSORSHIP TRANSFER
The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs;
• After having reference to the Federal Law No.( 1) for 1972, on the functions of ministries and the responsibilities of ministers and the amending laws thereof;
• And to the Federal Law No. (6) for 1973, regarding expatriates’entry and residence and the amending laws thereof;
• And to the Cabinet Decision No. (3) for 1977 regarding the recruitment of expatriate workers;
• And to the Federal Law No. (8) for 1980, on regulation of Labor relations, and the amending laws thereof;
• And to the Cabinet Decision No. (18) for 2005 regarding sponsorship transfer and renting of sponsored workers and payable fees;
• And based on the submission presented by the undersecretary for Labor sector;  Decides as follows:
Article 1The transfer of workers’ sponsorship shall take place in compliance with conditions, rules and procedures stipulated in this decision.
Article 2 Expatriate workers can change their sponsorship under the following conditions:
1. The worker must have a valid residence visa stamped in his passport.
2. The worker must have valid Labor card.
3. It should be insured that the job for which the change of sponsorship is required cannot be filled by UAE nationals or GCC jobseekers registered with competent authorities
4. Workers shall have spent a specific period of time with their current sponsors. The period is calculated from the date the worker’s Labor card was issued and will be as follows for all categories:
a. One year for professionals with Masters and PhD degrees.They are allowed to transfer their sponsorship for unlimited number of times during their tenure in the UAE.
b. At least two years for workers with Bachelors degree or its equivalent. They are allowed to change their sponsorship twice during their stay in the country.
c. At least three years for other categories with lower qualifications. They are allowed to transfer their sponsorship only once during their tenure in the country.
d. The job to which the sponsorship transfer is required must comply with the qualifications and experience of the worker,as well as with the firm’s activity.
5. 5 The worker must get the consent of both the original and new sponsors.
Article 3The fees for sponsorship transfer shall be as follows: Type of Fee Value in Durham’s
             Category A Category B Category C
Approval of internal work permit for Masters and PhD holders
              1500             2500        3500
Approval of internal work permit for holders of Bachelors or equivalent
             3000              3500        4000
Approval of internal work permit for other Labor categories
            5000               5500        6000
Approval of internal work permit for workers above 60 years, including the issue of a one-year Labor card for all categories
            5000           5000             5000
Approval of internal work permit for workers moving within firms owned by the same sponsor
             500           500              500
Article 4 In the event of non-compliance with the period of service condition stipulated in Article (2) above, and upon the consent of the new sponsor, workers other than Masters and PhD holders can be exempted from this condition after spending at least one year in their job, provided they pay Dh 3,000 in addition to fees payable for sponsorship transfer.
Article 5 All Labor categories can be exempted from the condition of service period provided they pay Dh 3,000 in addition to fees payable for sponsorship transfer prescribed in Article (3) above , and without
spending one year period of service with their sponsors as stipulated in Article (4) above, under the following conditions:
1. if the company announces its bankruptcy, is closed down or liquidated as a result of a court ruling;
2. in the event the Ministry of Labor cancels the company’s licence (firm card);
3. if the ownership of a company has been transferred to another owner;
4. if a company has been merged or incorporated withinanother company;
5. if the company has been divided to heirs after its owner’s death or any other reason;
6. in case a stake of the company has been sold to another company; or,
7. If the company’s owner dies, leading to its closure.
Article 6 The Ministry may decide to transfer the sponsorship of all Labor categories without referring to the current sponsor or taking his consent,upon a request from the new sponsor, and without applying the condition of the service period or the minimum period of service provided inArticle (4), provided that fees payable for sponsorship transfer stated in Article (3) thereof, in addition to exemption fees are fully covered.
However, such decision should be specifically based on the following criteria:
1. If the current employer fails to pay salaries for three months or more according to reports presented by the Labor Inspection Department or Labor Relations Department of the ministry.
2. If ownership of a company has been transferred to another owner.
3. If the company is closed down administratively, by a court ruling or upon a report by the Labor Inspection Department
4. If it is proved by documents that the company’s owner has died,  leading to the closure of the company.
5. If workers file a complaint against their employers at the Ministry and their complaint is referred to the courts. In this case the courts may decide to grant workers permission to change sponsorship.
6. Any other cases approved by the Minister.
Article 7 According to the provisions of this decision و officials of Labor department are authorized to approve sponsorship transfer and exempt from the service period.
Article 8 Applications for sponsorship transfer shall be submitted in accordance with the following procedure:
1. The new sponsor or his representative must submit the transfer application to the local Labor office, along with required documents, whether through the normal post or the Ministry’s counter assigned for receiving transactions.
2. The required documents to be attached along with the sponsorship transfer transaction are as follows:
a. the application for sponsorship transfer according to the Ministry’s form;
b. a copy of the signature authorization form for each the current and new sponsor;
c. a copy of the worker’s passport and a copy of his Labor card; and
d. Copies of academic qualifications duly certified by competent authorities and evaluated by the Ministry of
Higher Education.
3. The concerned Ministry’s official scrutinizes the application for sponsorship transfer to ensure the correctness and accuracy of the attached documents, and make sure that they fulfill the conditions required. The transaction is then referred to the counter to be approved, rejected or returned to the applicant for further verification.
4. The new sponsor must pay the fees for sponsorship transfer and deposit the bank guarantee amount for each worker sponsored by him.
5. The company for which the sponsorship transfer is required must complete the procedure for registering the worker and submit the following documents:
a. the application for canceling the previous Labor card, which  must be certified by the former sponsor ( attached with sponsorship transfer consent);
b. an application for a new Labor card;
c. the old Labor card;
d. the bank guarantee, if required; and
e. Receipt of fees paid for sponsorship transfer.
6. The Ministry counter employee must enter the application data in the ministry’s computer system and ensure the availability of the above-mentioned documents.
Article 9 The new sponsor shall complete the procedure for sponsorship transfer, including the payment of fees and registration of the worker, within a maximum period of sixty (60) days from the date the ministry’s approval is received, and upon failure to do so the application will be cancelled.
Article 10 All Labor categories can be exempted from the provisions of clause (2) and clause (4) of Article (2) provided that the new sponsor pay Dh 500 for each worker, under the following circumstances:
1. If the transfer is from an establishment to another located in the same emirate and owned by the same person.
2. If the transfer is from an individual establishment or one of its branches to another branch in the same emirate.
3. If the transfer is from a company or one of its branches to another branch in the same emirate. In case of expired Labor cards, all fines and payable fees should be paid as a condition before the issuance of the approval of the sponsorship transfer.
Article 11 Notwithstanding sponsorship transfer cases provided in this decision, the Ministry is not allowed to issue new Labor permits to workers whose Labor contracts have been cancelled, before at least six months from the date the Labor card was cancelled.
Article 12 This decision shall take effect as of the date of its issue and shall be implemented by all concerned authorities.
MINISTERIAL DECISION NO. 18 FOR 2005, REGARDING  SPONSORSHIP TRANSFER AND RENTING OF SPONSORED WORKERS AND PAYABLE FEES
After having reference to the Constitution;And to the Federal Law No.(1) for 1972, on the functions of ministries and the responsibilities of ministers and the amended laws thereof; And to the Federal Law No. (6) for 1973, regarding expatriates’ entry and residence and the amending laws thereof; And to the Federal Law No. (8) for 1980, on regulation of Labor relations, and the amending laws thereof; And to the Cabinet Decision No. (30) for 2001 regarding sponsorship transfer and categories allowed to be transferred;
And to the decision No. (360) for 1997 by the Minister of Interior, issuing the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No. (6) for 1973, regarding expatriates’ entry and residence ; And to the Cabinet Decision No. (466/9) for 2005, setting a new system of sponsorship transfer for all labor categories and renting of construction workers and payable fees; And based on the submissions presented by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and approved by the Cabinet;Decides as follows:
Article 1Sponsorship may be transferred upon the approval of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs or an authorized representative thereof, under the following conditions:
1. The worker must have a valid residence visa stamped in his passport.
2. It should be insured that the job for which the change of sponsorship is required cannot be filled by UAE nationals or GCC jobseekers registered with competent authorities.
3. Workers must have spent a specific period of time with their current sponsors, as shown below for each category
a. Al least one year for professionals with Masters and PhD  degrees. They are allowed to transfer their sponsorship for unlimited number of times during their stay in the UAE.
b. At least two years for workers with Bachelors degree or its equivalent. They are allowed to change their sponsorship twice during their stay in the country.
c. At least three years for other categories with lower qualifications. They are allowed to transfer their sponsorship only once during their stay in the country.
d. The job for which the change of sponsorship is required must comply with the qualifications and experience of the worker, as well as with the firm’s activity. However, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, or an authorized representative thereof, may exempt workers from the condition of service period against a fee of Dh 3,000 for each worker, along with the other payable fees as stipulated in Article (2) of this decision.
Article 2 The fees for sponsorship transfer shall be as follows:
1. Dh 1,500 for PhD and Master’s degree holders.
2. Dh 3,000 for holders of Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
3. Dh 5,000 for other labor categories.
Article 3 The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs or an authorized representative thereof may decide to waive the service period condition stipulated in Article (1) therein to transfer the sponsorship of all Labor categories from an establishment to another one, if both establishments are owned by the same person and are located in the same emirate, provided that the sponsor pays Dh 500 for each worker. In case of sponsorship transfer from an emirate to another one, the sponsor must pay the fee stipulated in Article (2) therein.
Article 4 The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs or an authorized representative thereof may allow the renting out of construction workers from a company to another provided that:
1. their number must not be less than twenty (20) workers;
2. the company requesting them must be in real need of Labor according to information available to the Ministry;
3. the current employer agrees to rent out these workers to the other employer;
4. the new company must submit an application to the Ministry indicating its commitment to pay the following fees:
• Dh 1500 for each worker in case the renting period does not exceed three (3) months.
• Dh 2000 for each worker in case the renting period exceeds three months up to six (6) months maximum.
• Dh 2500 for each worker in case the renting period exceeds six months up to nine (9) months maximum.
• Dh 3000 for each worker in case the renting period exceeds nine months up to one year maximum.
Any company failing to abide by these conditions shall have its fees doubled for every application to the Ministry and shall not be allowed to bring in new expatriate labor into the country before six months at least
from the date of paying the doubled transaction fees. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs shall issue necessary rules and measures for renting workers, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior.
Article 5
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs shall be authorized to draw up necessary rules and standards for the implementation of this decision.
Article 6
The Cabinet Decision No. (30) for 2001 regarding sponsorship transfer and categories allowed to be transferred shall be repealed.
Article 7 This decision shall take effect as of the date of its issue and shall be implemented by all concerned authorities.
Amending the Executive Regulation of Sponsorship Transfer The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs;
• After having reference to Federal Law no 1 for 1972, as amended, on the functions of the ministries and powers of the ministers;
• And to federal law no 8 for 1980, as amended, on regulation of work relations;
• And to the Cabinet Resolution no 18, for 2005, on transfer of sponsorship and seconding of employees, and the applicable fees;
• And to the Ministerial Decree no 826, for 2005, on the Executive regulation of sponsorship transfer;
• And based on the submission of the concerned Under Secretary of the Ministry; Resolves as follows
Article One Requests by employers for finalizing sponsor transfer registration procedures may be accepted after the lapse of the period for approval of sponsorship transfer, which is sixty days from the date of issue of the initial approval.
Article Two Approval of requests for extension of validity of sponsorship transfer shall be subject to the following conditions:
1. Payment of a fee of AED500 for an additional respite of ten days
from expiry of the sponsorship transfer validity date or the extension, and for each subsequent respite, subject to a maximum of three respites (30 days), for a fee of AED500 for each 10-day respite.
2. Procedures for sponsorship transfer shall be finalized after payment of the prescribed fees.
Article Three
This decree shall go into force as on 11.2.2006 and shall be strictly