Legal View

KK Sarachandra Bose is a Partner/Corporate, Commercial and Contract Lawyer at Dar Al Adalah Advocates and Legal Consultants. Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to: Legal View, Khaleej Times, Dubai PO Box 11243

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Published: Mon 21 Mar 2011, 9:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:23 AM

Working after visa cancellation is illegal

Q) I am a doctor at a private medical centre here. Is it legal to work after the visa and labour card are cancelled? If I want to resign, can I collect my passport and certificates? If they refuse, whom should I approach? Am I entitled to a return ticket as I have completed my three year limited contract?

A) Working after the cancellation of visa and labour card will be considered illegal. Your employer has no right to hold your passport and certificates. To obtain the passport and certificates, you may file a complaint at the nearest police station. If your contract is not renewed, you are entitled for a ticket to your home country. If your employer is not taking up the measures to release you even after the expiry of the contract, you may file a complaint in the Labour Department.

Visa, medical charges

Q) I have been working in a cleaning company for the last 10 years on an unlimited contract. I want to resign in May. When I discussed the issue with my employer, he said I need to pay for visa renewal. Is this legal? If so, how much? I was told to pay Dh1,500 to Dh2,000. Can the company put a six month ban on me upon resignation? Do I need to go back to the Philippines or any neighbouring country to join another job? Is there any way to get a copy of my employment contract as the company does not want to do the same. I pay for my medical expenses and annual ticket, apart from the visa charges.

A) As per the UAE labour law, expenses of visa, medical and so on are met by the employer. Therefore, if you want to resign from your present job, you don’t need to pay any compensation upon your resignation, provided you issue minimum 30 days notice prior to your resignation. If your employer insists that you have to pay visa expenses, you may file a complaint in the Labour Department. You can obtain a copy of your labour contract from the Labour Department or from their website. A ban may not be imposed on you.

Limited, unlimited contracts

Q) I hold a Western passport. I have been in the UAE for three months. My employer did not keep my passport but has my labour card. Is this legal? I work as a manager in the construction field.

Is it legal for the employer to deduct money from my wages for any reason; let us say if there was delay in some tasks in the schedule? If I find a better job opportunity, can I take it up? And how does it work with the work visa I already have?

A) Your labour card is your personal document and as per law you have to carry. Your employer has no right to hold it. Likewise, your employer has no right to deduct any amount as compensation for delay in some tasks in the schedule, provided the delay is not caused by your wilful negligence. You have not specified whether your contract is limited or unlimited. If it is limited, you are obliged to complete the contract period to avoid legal actions including ban against you.

If it is unlimited and you decide to resign from the company before the completion of two years, a six months ban shall be imposed on you which can be lifted if your new employer offers you a salary in accordance with the skill level specified by the Ministry of Labour: First level: if you have university degree and above, your salary with the new company shall not be less than Dh12,000. Second level: if you are a diploma holder, your salary with the new company shall not be less than Dh7,000. Third level: if you are a high school pass certificate holder, your salary with the new company shall not be less than Dh5,000.

Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

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