Legal View

Lodge complaint to claim advance deposit for processing Canada work permit

Ashish Mehta/Dubai
Filed on November 22, 2020 | Last updated on March 19, 2021 at 01.29 pm

Payment of advance money shall be considered evidence.

Question: I had applied for processing of Canada work permit through an immigration consultancy firm here in Dubai. I paid them Dh3,600, which was mentioned as refundable at the end of the one-year agreement. After one year when I am asking for refund, they are making excuses and show no intention of giving me back my money. How can I get the refund?


It is assumed that Dh3,600 is the initial payment or deposit paid by you to the immigration consultancy firm (the 'consultant') to avail the services of processing a work permit for Canada. It is also assumed that you had entered into a written agreement with the consultant at the time of paying the payment. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 on the Issuance of the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE (the 'Civil Transactions Law') and the provisions of Federal Law No. (24) of 2006 on Consumer Protection (the 'Consumer Protection Law') are applicable.

In the event the agreement between you and the consultant states that the it should refund the amount received from you if the process of obtaining a work permit of Canada is not completed within one year, then you are eligible to claim from the consultant the initial payment of Dh3,600 paid by you. This is in accordance with Article 148 of the Federal Law No.5 of 1985 on the issuance of the Civil Transaction Law of the UAE, which states: “1. Payment of advance money shall be considered evidence that the contract has become finally binding, and no one can withdraw from it unless the agreement or custom requires otherwise.

2. If two contracting parties agree that the earnest money be considered a penalty against the party who withdraws from the contract, either one of them shall be entitled to withdraw, and whoever pays the earnest money shall lose it if he withdraws, and whoever receives it, shall make restitution thereof plus an equivalent amount if he withdraws.”

Based on the aforementioned provision of law, in the event you default, then you may not be able to claim this amount from the consultant. However, as the consultant has defaulted and has no intention of refunding the amount paid by you upon completion of one year as mentioned in the agreement, you may approach the Department of Economic Development based in the emirate of Dubai and file a complaint against the firm. This is in accordance with Article 4 (6) of the Consumer Protection Law, which states: “A department shall be set up in the Ministry under the name of the Consumer Protection Department and shall carry out the following competencies:

Receive consumers' complaints and adopt the procedures in this regard or refer them to the competent authorities. The complaint may be submitted directly by the consumer. It may be filed by the consumer protection association for it is considered a representative of the complainant.”.

Alternatively, you may lodge a civil complaint against the consultant at the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes at Dubai Court. The centre is a reconciliation department which deals with debts/claims amounting below Dh50,000. While filing the civil complaint against the consultant, it would be prudent on your part to take along with you any supporting documentary evidence (agreement with the firm, payment made to it as stated by you) and submit them to the centre for registering the civil complaint. You may approach the centre for further details.

Know the law

Payment of advance money shall be considered evidence that the contract has become finally binding, and no one can withdraw from it unless the agreement or custom requires otherwise

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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