UAE labour law: Can a deported expat return after a ban?

Employer may file an absconding complaint if an employee has stopped working for seven consecutive days and his whereabouts are not known


Ashish Mehta

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:43 AM

Last updated: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:46 AM

Question: Is there any way for an expat to return to the UAE after he gets an immigration ban? My friend got the ban after he was reported absconding by his previous employer. He was not aware that the absconding report had been filed against him. Please advise.

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that your friend was employed with a company based in the mainland of the UAE. Therefore, the provisions of Ministerial Resolution No. 721 of 2006 on Escape Reports Procedures (the ‘Ministerial Resolution on Absconding Employee’) and the provisions of Federal Law No. 6 for 1973 Concerning Immigration and Residence as amended by Virtue of Law 7 of 1985, Law 13 of 1996 and Federal Decree Law No. 17 of 2017 (the 'Immigration Law of UAE') are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer may file an absconding complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) and General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) if an employee has stopped working for seven consecutive days and his whereabouts are not known.

This is in accordance with Article 1 of the Ministerial Resolution on Absconding Employee, which states: "An escape report is applied on the case of the employee who has stopped working for more than seven consecutive days if the employer pledged that he does not know his whereabouts or has a legitimate reason for his absence in accordance with the provisions of this Ministerial Resolution."


It may be noted that if the said employee is later traced in the UAE after a complaint, the former may be detained and later deported to his home country if proven guilty by the court.

An employee deported on the grounds of absconding shall not be allowed to be employed in the UAE. This is in accordance with Article 11 of Ministerial Resolution No. (721) of 2006 on Escape Reports Procedures, which states: "Any employee whose work relation ended in escape and against whom a final escape circular was issued shall be permanently deprived of working in the State in accordance with the provision of this resolution."

If an individual is deported from the UAE, he or she cannot re-enter the country. This is in accordance with Article 28 of the Immigration Law of UAE, which states: "A foreigner who has been deported may not return to the country except with special permission from the Minister of Interior.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, your friend may not be able to travel to the UAE.

However, your friend may grant a power of attorney to any person of his choice residing in the UAE to check if there is a lifetime ban on him. If there is one, he may authorise his power of attorney holder to appear on his behalf before the authorities concerned in the UAE and check the possibility of lifting the ban.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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