UAE: Immigration Bulletin – Government Lifts Work Ban For Foreigners Changing Employers
Changing of employers in UAE becomes easier for foreigners
Since January 1, 2011 foreigners working in the United Arab Emirates are allowed to switch jobs after two years without the need to obtain a no-objection certificate from their present employers. This new regulation is introduced by the UAE Ministry of Labor in the attempt to reform its labor market.
Previously, in case of contract termination or resignation, if the sponsoring company did not provide a no-objection certificate, the Ministry of Labor automatically imposed a six month ban on the foreign worker’s visa. During this period foreigner had to to leave the country.
The new regulation means sponsors will not be able to force employees to continue to work for them if workers do not wish to do so. From the beginning of the year expatriate workers in the UAE may change jobs without the need to worry about the ban, provided they ended the the work relationship in good terms with the employer and they have completed a minimum of two years working with the company (unlimited or limited contract). However, for limited contracts, if the employee did not finish the agreed term as per contract, the company has the right to impose a one-year ban which cannot be lifted at all.
The new regulations describes three cases when the worker has the right to get a work permit without working for at least two years for the employer:
- The new job position belongs to the first, second or third category of professions (as defined by DNRD) with a salary of not less than Dh12,000 ($3,260), Dh7,000 ($1,900) and Dh5,000 ($1,360) in the three classes respectively.
- The contract is terminated due to the employer’s violation of legal and labor obligations towards the worker, or in case the worker has no role in terminating the work relationship.
- The employee is transferred to another company the employer owns or has shares in.
Saqr Gobash, the Minister of Labor said “The Ministry will only interfere in the employer-worker contractual relationship if it detects infringement in obligations stated in the labor contract.”
More on the subject: UAE – Expatriates May Transfer Sponsorship
Our articles are for informational purposes only. Should you have any further questions regarding matters related to business immigration to the UAE, please feel free to contact your global Move One immigration specialist, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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