Staying abroad beyond six-month period

Samir El Azrak, advocate of Al-Moutawaa Wa- Al Azrak, Advocates and Legal Consultants, Dubai, answers readers' questions and offers his expert views on various issues concerning the law. Queries can be sent to Khaleej Times, Post Box No. 11243, Dubai or faxed to 04-3382238 or emailed to

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Published: Sun 19 Oct 2003, 12:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:38 PM

Sohail, Abu Dhabi: I am working in Abu Dhabi as a civil engineer in a private consultancy company earning a gross salary of Dh12,000. My wife has a residence visa under my sponsorship. She left the UAE on December 4, 2002. Due to pregnancy, the doctor didn't allow her to travel by air and she could not enter the UAE before June 4, 2003 and thus she has been staying beyond the maximum six-month period allowed. Now, we have a baby (born on May 23, 2003) and I want to bring my family back to the UAE. What should I do? Should I cancel my wife's visa and apply for new visas for both my wife and child or is there any better way?

Answer: As your spouse's residence visa is still valid, you can submit an application to the Naturalisation and Residency Department, duly supported by documents proving the circumstances which prevented her from returning within the six-month period. She will be exempted from the rule and she can enter the country under her valid visa. Meanwhile, the baby can be added to her passport and before their arrival a new visa can be issued to him as per the procedures.

Health card

Sheharban, Dubai: I had a health card from the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) a few years back. It has not been renewed. Then I left Dubai for further studies and my residence visa was cancelled. After marriage, I came to the UAE under my husband's sponsorship and my visa has been issued in Sharjah. Now how can I avail myself of the Dohms facilities?

My sister, who was born in Dubai, was on a Sharjah employment visa one year ago. Now she got a job in Dubai and since she has to change the visa, she had to pay a fine before she got her health card and medical fitness certificate. This does not make sense because she was holding a Dubai visa and medical card previously and has to be transferred to a Sharjah visa. Does it mean a person has to renew both his medical cards every year and again if he has to get transferred to Dubai visa then pay the penalty for not renewing the Dubai medical card?

Answer: The health card is connected with residence in the country. Any expatriate with a residence visa should initially obtain a health card. Health cards granted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) are issued and renewed on a biennial basis. In emergency cases, the MoH cards serve at any government hospital in any emirate. Dohms cards can only serve in department hospitals and clinics in Dubai. An MoH card-holder cannot be affected if the residence visa is transferred to another emirate so long as the card is valid, while Dohms card-holders cannot do so. As to your sister, if her card is issued by the MoH, she can use the same at an MoH clinic in Dubai without any penalties.

Job change

Naik. Dubai: I have completed six years in a ship repairing company. I do not wish to renew my contract with the same sponsor due to financial crises in the company. Instead, I have an offer from a semi-government company. I hold a visa with a profession of ship mechanic general. The new sponsor is ready to give me an appointment letter. Shall I still get a ban?

Answer: You have two options: (1) to present a sponsorship transfer form to the current sponsor and obtain his consent to avoid any consequences relating to the cancellation of residence visa or any ban. (2) If transfer is rejected by the current sponsor, you can serve him a one-month notice expressing your intention of not renewing the contract and then submit your resignation. Here, the ban shall not be applied unless the employer so requests.

JKS, Dubai: I am an industrial equipment engineer in a Dubai-based company. My contract also reads the same. My educational background is diploma in mechanical engineering. I am now planning to apply for a managerial job in other companies. I have completed one and a half years in the present company. Is the change of job possible if my present company gives me a release and my future employer provides me a visa. ?

Answer: In order to have your sponsorship transferred these conditions should be met, namely:

(1) The employee should have completed one year in service;

(2) He should be joining the same profession;

(3) He should belong to the exempted categories;

(4) He should hold a valid residence visa;

All these conditions should be met of course under the consent of the current employer. And since the second condition is not met, the only option you have is to cancel the current employment relationship with the employer and obtain an NOC from him to avoid the ban.

Visit visa

C. Madhavan, Dubai: I am an Indian working in the UAE. I am on an employment visa and completed only three months in service. The contract is limited for three years. The problem is that I have been recruited as finance manager, but in my joining letter it is senior accountant. In my visa it is accounting clerk/general. My sponsor had promised me to increase my salary after three months. But now they have put me in a junior post and are not fulfilling their promise.

Will a ban be applicable if I cancel the visa? If so, can I come here on a visit visa after cancelling the employment visa within the ban period?

Answer: The signing of the contract by you implies your acceptance of the conditions written therein. In addition, the taking over of the duties also signifies your consent. It is an established principle in law that 'parties to a contract are governed by the stipulation and conditions thereof.' You have to bring the employment relationship to an end, in which case you are susceptible to a six-month ban. You can enter the country under a visit visa, where you are not permitted to take on any employment with or without pay.

Sponsoring maid

T. G.H., Dubai: I am a manager of a Dubai-based company. I am originally from Sri Lanka. My present salary is Dh8,000 plus other allowances. Is it possible to sponsor a Sri Lankan housemaid? If so, what are the documents required and the procedures for the same?

Answer: All the conditions for sponsoring a housemaid are satisfied in your case. However, according to the practices and norms applicable with the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), a person is not allowed to sponsor a housemaid of his own nationality.

Medical practice

Dr Mehrunnisssa, Dubai: I am a general practitioner MBBS and holding a Ministry of Health (MoH) licence since 1985 and I am working in Al Dhaid, Sharjah. If I wish to work in Dubai, what are the procedures? I have learnt that only post-graduates are allowed in Dubai, but a few days back you had replied to one similar question that even an MBBS doctor can work in Dubai by passing the oral examination only. Is there any procedure through which I can convert my MoH licence into a Dohms one and open a clinic in Dubai?

Answer: You can present an application to the Dohms accompanied by supporting documents proving your educational qualifications and the passing of MoH examinations as well as the licence issued in your favour for practising the profession. The department will refer you to the competent committee where you will be interviewed. In the light of the interview, it will be decided whether or not you are eligible to practise and work in Dubai. - Compiled by Mustafa Barakat

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