United Arab Emirates: Visa cancellation process after job loss or resignation explained – News


Types of visas you could apply for to continue staying in the country legally without incurring fines



By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 22 May 2022, 10:32

Question: I could lose my job. If I have my family here in the UAE under my sponsorship, how does the company go about canceling my visa? How long can I stay here? At the end of this period, how can my family and I continue to stay here legally?

Answer: As per your questions, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland private sector company incorporated in the UAE and your residency is sponsored by your employer. Accordingly, the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 concerning the Implementing Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labor Relations (the “Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022) and the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 29 of 2021 regarding the entry and stay of foreigners (the “Immigration Law”) are applicable.

In the event of termination or resignation, the employer must cancel your work permit once you have signed the cancellation document. This is in line with Section 7(3) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which reads as follows:

“Procedures for canceling work permits:

a. Filing an application for cancellation of the work permit through the channels specified by the ministry.

b. Complete the required information and attachments.

vs. Payment of fines for delay in issuing or non-renewal of work permits, if applicable.

D. Certificate from the Establishment that the employee has received his rights.

e. All other conditions specified by decision of the Minister or his delegate.

Thereafter, your employer must proceed with the cancellation of your residence visa. However, if you have sponsored the residence of your family members, you must first cancel their visas.

Grace period

Additionally, in the United Arab Emirates, once a residency visa is cancelled, a person can reside in the country for a 30-day grace period, which includes the date of cancellation. During this period, you must either leave the country or change your residence status. If you find a new job during the grace period, you can ask your new employer to apply for a work permit and change your residency status before the grace period expires.

If you manage to find a new job

Alternatively, if you get a new job, you can keep your family members’ visas as your new employer is applying for your work permit and residency visa. Maintaining dependents visa while transferring your residency visa from one employer to another is subject to the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs – Dubai (the “GDRFA-Dubai”) or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports. Security (the “ICA”) — based on your salary and designation with the new employer.

The GDFRA – Dubai and the ICA are usually very quick to give their decision on the matter.

If the same is not approved, you may have to cancel the residency of your family members.

Other options

Also, if you cannot find a job during the grace period, you can obtain visit visas for yourself and your family members. You can also obtain an investor visa and subsequently also sponsor the residency visas of your family members. For more information on this, you can contact GDRFA-Dubai or ICA.

Exceeding fines

If you exceed the length of stay in the UAE beyond the grace period, this will result in a penalty payable to GDRFA-Dubai or ICA. This is in line with Section 11 of the Immigration Act, which states: “Any foreigner whose visa or residence permit has been revoked or whose stay has expired with the expiration of the period of visa or residence permit, and does not initiate renewal, In cases when permitted – or if he has not left the country within the time specified by the implementing regulations of this Decree-Law, an administrative fine will be imposed on him for each day during which he resides illegally in the country from the date of the expiry of these periods by decision of the Council of Ministers the amount of this fine.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the contact details of his office on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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