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Expats with 6-month ban can reenter on visit visa

By Eman Al Baik / 25 February 2005

DUBAI — Expatriates whose passports were stamped with the six-month ban following cancellation of their employment visas can re-enter the country on a visit, transit or mission visa, according to Brigadier Saeed Mattar bin Bleilah, Director of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

Imposing the six month ban on expatriate employees by the naturalisation and residency departments following the cancellation of their residency visas was based on the country's residency laws and rules, clarified Brig. Saeed Mattar.

“The ban only prevents an expatriate employee from obtaining an employment visa before the expiry of the six month period from the date of the visa cancellation, but they can still enter the country,” he explained, clearing the confusion over this issue brought to his notice by the local media.

“This clarification was urgent in the light of the large number of expatriates enquiring about this subject,” he said, adding that rules stipulate that a ban be automatically slammed on the passport of any expatriate employee cancelling the residency visa, except in cases where the application for visa cancellation is attached with a letter from the sponsor requesting an exemption from the ban.

“The ban is not stamped in such cases and this is only when the employee in question belongs to the category of professionals and holders of high educational qualifications like doctors, engineers, teachers, accountants, advisors, managers and administrators,” The DNRD Director stressed.

He said that expatriate employees who belong to the professionals category would be allowed to transfer their sponsorship in accordance with the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry's rules, and the ban will not be imposed by DNRD if they apply for sponsorship transfer.

“When these employees seek sponsorship transfer, their first residencies would be cancelled in order to enable them get a fresh one with the new employer. They will be exempted from the six-month ban because the first employer would have already signed on the sponsorship transfer application which also needs to be signed by the new employer,” Brig. Saeed Mattar said, adding that these rules were being implemented at the country level and not just by the DNRD.

Brig Saeed Mattar, who personally believes that the ban rule is not justified, said: “The department has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Interior to cancel the ban system.”




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