Sunday, May 29, 2011

UAE cancels up to 1m work permits a year: official

New system linking Labour and Interior ministries to help firms save time and money
The UAE cancels up to 1 million work permits every year, a senior official of the country’s Ministry of Labour (MoL) revealed last week.
At a press conference in Dubai last week, Humaid bin Deemas, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the MoL, disclosed that around 800,000 to 1 million permits are cancelled every year and that a new system, which provides a unified platform to process visa and labour-related issues is in place now, helping employers save time and money.
The project to electronically link the MoL with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has concluded, providing a unified platform to process visa and labour related issues, it was announced during the press conference.
The linkage has created a joint database for both the ministries, which will allow them to access each other’s files and information, as well as process and cancel visas electronically. The new system will also save employers some headache as they won’t have to fill two separate forms at both the ministries to apply for a labour permit, it was announced.
The new system requires applicant to file one form at MoL, which will then send it electronically to the MoI and process the documents.
The announcement was made during a press conference held in the Ministry of Labour in Dubai in the presence of Humaid bin Deemas, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, and Colonel Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, Director-General of Residency and Foreign Affairs department of MoI, and Colonel Bakhit Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director Office of the Assistant Undersecretary of Residency and Foreign Affairs, and Saif Al Suwaidi, general coordinator of the project the MoL.
MoL has confirmed that the new system has undergone testing through a pilot project last November and has successfully issued 317,137 work permits. While, the issuance process has already started under the new system, the cancellation would be launched only in July.
Once operational, the system will allow cancellation of labour cards from any centre in the UAE or even at the airports, following payment of all fines due by the applicant.
The E-link will also require all the firms to have electronic signature card, work on which is currently under process.
Under a later phase of the project it would be mandatory for employers to have electronic signature cards, failure to have which would stall all the files of the applicants.
There are currently 140,000 firms who already have e-signature card and those who do not have will be given a grace period to be announced soon.