Dubai - All expats applying for new work visas in the UAE are subjected to security background checks.
The Philippine and Indonesian consul-generals in Dubai welcomed the move by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), which has suspended the requirement for a Certificate of Good Conduct (CGC) for new Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers until June this year.
The MoHRE recently issued a circular to all Tasheel Centres, which are in charge of processing the employment of household service workers (HSWs), ordering the suspension of requiring a CGC of police clearance certificate for Filipino and Indonesian housemaids. Khaleej Times spoke to two Arabic and English speaking staff who confirmed of the circular.
On Monday, Philippine consul general Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times: "We welcome the move by MoHRE to give more time for our HSWs to secure their police clearance certificates. This move would give them at least four months from now to obtain the new requirement."
"But we would like to reiterate that the suspension is applicable only to household service workers," Cortes added.
Those who fall under the category of HSWs are housemaids, house cooks, security guards, drivers, gardeners and other household workers.
All expats applying for new work visas in the UAE are subjected to security background checks and are required to submit a police clearance from their home countries, or the country of their residence for the past five years, as a move to ensure the security of the society, according to authorities.
Good conduct certificate in UAE: Guide for all nationalities
"Nevertheless, the move would also ease the backlog at the Consulate," added Cortes, who noted a surge of job aspirants and visit visa holders trooping to the Philippine Consulate after the CGC requirement came into effect on February 4.
Meanwhile, Joy, a Filipina expat, Joy, who told Khaleej Times earlier about the delay in getting a CGC, said she is yet to process the certificate as the fee is a bit expensive.
According to the Philippine Consulate, an estimated 70,000 Filipinos work as HSWs and the total number of Filipinos in Dubai touch around 500,000.
Jakarta is informedIndonesian consul general Arzaf Firman also welcomed the CGC suspension.
Firman, who just returned to Dubai from Jakarta, said: "It's good for us since Indonesia is still processing the policy domestically." He added that Indonesians have to acquire the certificate from the nearest police station back home.
The top Indonesian diplomat also observed the lack of clarity on obtaining CGC continues to spell confusion among job aspirants and visit visa holders. "We just informed Jakarta of the new policy. Now that it has been postponed, I really encourage that any new law be implemented after a period of time of disseminating it to the public."
According to the Indonesian Consulate, there are around 90,000 Indonesians in the UAE with 50,000 of them living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and 80 per cent of them are employed as domestic workers.
Indonesians are the preferred choice as domestic helpers because of their familiarity with Arab culture and religion.
No reprieve for other nationalitiesThe Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has instructed Tasheel Centres nationwide to continue requiring good conduct certificates for all other nationalities in the household workers sector, particularly from those who previously lived outside the country and those who entered the UAE on tourist or visit visa.
According to a report in an Arabic newspaper, MoHRE said: "If the worker is inside the country, a copy of the residence permit cancellation is sufficient as proof."
The Ministry underlined: "Any Tasheel Centre which does not obtain the good conduct certificate from the nationalities of those required, will be held legally liable for their negligence."
Who are included in HSW category?> Housemaids
> House cooks
> Security guards
> Other household workers