Visa Ban in UAE
Labour Ban and Immigration ban is still a big confusion for employees here in UAE. A ban on visa means, that the person who is served the particular ban is not entitled to live and work in the UAE for a particular time or permanently. This may happen in a way of:
- Immigration Ban
- Labour Ban
[junkie-alert style=”yellow”] Have you read the changes in New Labour Law regarding Labour Ban? Click here to read about New Labour Ban Rules. [/junkie-alert]
Immigration Ban or Residence Ban
If you have immigration ban in UAE, you are not supposed to enter UAE or obtain residency in UAE. You may be served with immigration ban if you have committed criminal offences. In case you have Bounced cheques, bad debt cases against you, you will have immigration ban till the time you are cleared or you have served your sentence. You may also be served immigration ban if you have been found drunk driving, theft and other crimes. If you have entered UAE with illegal means, then too you will be facing immigration ban.
In case if you have absconded from your work and have not reported to work for a prolonged time, your employer may list you under absconding list, and you will have immigration ban. The changes in labour ban has not affected the immigration ban. Immigration ban is issued by Department of Naturalisation and Immigration in UAE, which is part of Ministry of Interior.
There are 2 types of labour bans:
- 6 Month Labour Ban
- One year Labour Ban
6 Month Ban
In the past, companies and employers were able to prevent their employees from changing jobs for 6 months by imposing what is called as labour ban. This would ban an employee from changing visa for the first 6 months of cancelling visa/labour card. This ban system was removed after UAE Cabinet Resolution No 25 of 2010, which removed ban after continuous work of Two years with employer.
MOL came up with new resolutions in lates 2015 and early 2016 which mandated that with educational certificates (Attested high school diploma or greater submitted as part of the visa application process) or who have been working for more than Six months, will not face any labour ban. However, there are instances and examples that Authorities still impose labour bans. However, the labor ban has no impact in free zones.
A 6 month labour ban is an automatic ban which is imposed when you leave your current job without any proper reason. Every employee under Ministry of Labour is automatically banned for 6 month; unless they are exempt from ban due to their new employer status (Freezone, Government), qualification above High School Diploma and salary of AED 5000 for High School, AED 7000 for Diploma holders and AED 12000 for Bachelor’s degree holders.
If you have 6 month labour ban, there is no restriction for you to enter UAE on visit or tourist visa.
One year Ban
A one year ban will be imposed if you have not completed your limited labour contract. You will not be able to visit UAE in case you have been slapped with One Year Labour ban.
One year ban is also imposed if:
- Expatriate worker leaves Government job.
- If you break terms and conditions of your labour contract.
- If you lose a case in the court against your employer.
Labor Ban: Limited Term Contract
First 6 months of employment After 6 months of employment After Renewal of Initial Fixed Term With Education Certificate Limited risk of labor ban if:
1. the employer consents to
2. employer terminates
Risk of ban if employer does not consent to employee resignation, unless if resignation is effective as of the end of a limited term contract Generally no labor ban, but risk of ban if the employee breaches the Labor Law or contract, such as not giving and honoring the required notice period. No Education Certificate Risk of ban if,
1. Before end of limited term
2. Employer does not consent
during the limited term.
Labor Ban: Unlimited Contract
First 6 months of employment After 6 months of employment With Education Certificate Risk of labor ban, unless:
1. Mutual agreement of the parties;
2. The employer has failed to meet its legal or contractual
obligations, including, without limitation, the duty to pay the
wages for over 60 days; or
3. The employer winds up its business; or
4. Court ruling in favor of the employee.
Generally no labor ban, but risk of ban if the employee breaches the Labor Law or contract, such as not giving and honoring the required notice period No Education Certificate Risk of labor ban, unless:
1. The employer has failed to meet its legal or contractual
obligations, including, without limitation, the duty to pay the
wages for over 60 days
2. The employer winds up its business.
3. Court ruling in favor of the employee.
Ban in Free Zones
Some free zones also apply bans on the transfer of employees within companies in the free zones registered within them without the approval of the previous employer. The information bans are often not publicized and this policy keeps changing from time to time, and from free zone to free zone.
How to lift labour ban in UAE or immigration ban in UAE?
To read more, please visit the article on how to lift 6 month labour ban.
Many professional workers can lift the ban, as the ban is typically waived if an employee moves to a position with a higher salary of AED 5,000 for high school diploma, AED 7,000 for post-secondary diploma, and AED 12,000 for bachelor degrees).
Under which situations there is no Labour Ban?
If you fall under below categories, you may not have a labour ban:
- UAE Nationals will not have labour ban or immigration ban.
- If you are joining an oil company.
- If you are joining Government or Semi-government organisation.
- If you are changing jobs within the same Free zone.
- If you have completed your contract term under limited contract.
- If you have completed 3 years of service under unlimited contract.
Permanent residence ban
A permanent residency ban is applied for serious labour offences committed, like illegal or absconding workers and convicted felons. The Federal Department of Immigration maintains a file of fingerprint samples and retina scans of banned individuals so that they are not able to return to UAE in the future.
Comparison between Immigration Ban and Labour Ban:
Removing Immigration ban in UAE.
Immigration Ban Labor Ban Who regulates this? Immigration and Naturalization Department, Ministry of Interior Ministry of Emiratization and Human Resources (former Ministry of Labor) When is this ban imposed? Employer must submit a formal complaint that the employee either:
1. committed a crime; or
2. seriously damaged the employer.
See tables related to Limited Contract and Unlimited Contract above. What is the scope of ban? Prevents the person from entering or staying in the country. An immigration ban is typically followed by an order to leave the UAE or Deportation. Prevents the person from applying for a new work visa, but not from entering or residing in the country. A labor ban does not prevent a person from visiting the UAE by way of a valid visit visa How long is this ban? One year (generally), but may be as short of six months or may be a lifetime ban depending from case to case This is applied for six months generally. Where is this applicable? The territory of the UAE, without exception. The territory of the UAE outside the free zones. Although some free zones maintain separate labor ban systems, a labor ban may stop an employee from being issued a work visa in a free zone, or to work for a government entity Can you lift the ban? Immigration ban can not be lifted although may be removed on an exceptional basis. Can be lifted withh:
1. a court order;
2. the issuance of a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the former employer; and
3. in some cases, the payment of a fine.
How to check UAE visa ban status / immigration blacklist check/ immigration travel ban / passport ban with passport number?
The best way to check your ban status in UAE is to call up the Immigration department in case of Immigration ban and MOL in case of Labour ban. Give the call centre agent your passport number and other details like previous visa number and they’d provide you with an update. If you have left the UAE with some debts behind, the financial institution may have filed a case against you. In such cases, your representative can walk into any Dubai Police stations with your passport copy, Emirates ID (if available) and Authority Letter to check for any cases registered. If the cases are registered, then definitely you may have immigration ban meaning you will not be able to transit or enter UAE.
To check whether you have a labour ban, you will need to call MOL or MOHRE on their call centre number and enquire with your Passport Number or Emirates ID.
Please note, you also should take consultation of a qualified Lawyer in UAE for these procedures.
Disclaimer: This article is only for information purpose. You are requested to consult a Lawyer for all legal matters.