UAE: Do I cancel family visas, close bank, Dewa accounts before retiring and returning to home country?

Here are the things expats must do before they leave the Emirates for good after retirement

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 2 Apr 2023, 9:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 2 Apr 2023, 10:20 PM

Question: I will be retiring and returning to my home country soon. What are the steps I must take to ensure that all formalities are done? What all must I cancel – bank, visa, etc? Please advise.

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland company in the UAE and that you are a resident of Dubai. It is further assumed that your UAE residency visa is sponsored by your employer. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment and Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree- Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.


In the UAE, an employer needs to pay the end-of-the-service benefits to an employee once an employee retires. The end-of-service benefits may be paid in the form of a bank account transfer to the bank account of an employee where the salary is credited or through a cheque. It is recommended that an employee requests his employer to provide with service certificate on the last day of the employment or as agreed with the employer. An employer is obligated to provide its employee with a service certificate, and it needs to include the nature of work and the service period of an employee. This is in accordance with Article 13 (11) of the Employment Law.

Further, an employer is obligated to pay gratuity to an employee whosoever completes at least one year of continuous service and his or her employment comes to an end either by termination, expiry of employment contract or resignation after fulfilling all the employment obligations. This is under Article 52 of the Employment Law read with Article 29 of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022. In continuance, an employer may have to pay its employee cash allowance for the annual leave not availed during the service period. This is in accordance with 29(9) of the Employment Law read with Article 19 of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022. Further, an employer may have to bear the repatriation costs of an employee at the end of the service of an employee. This is under Article 13 (12) of the Employment Law.


In view of the aforementioned provisions of law, your employer on your last working day, or as mutually agreed with you, needs to pay your end-of-service benefits, which may include, gratuity, unpaid salaries, cash allowance (basic pay) for annual leave not availed during your service period with your employer and air ticket fare. However, as an employee, you should hand over and/or destroy the hard or soft documents, and information related to your employer's business secrecy. This is under Article 16(5) of the Employment Law, which states, “The employees shall not keep in his personal capacity any hard or soft papers or documents in relation to the business secrets without permission of the employer or his representative.”

Once you complete the above formalities, your employer should request you to cancel the UAE residency visas of your family members sponsored by you.

Furthermore, you may approach the branch of your bank where you have a bank account(s) and loan/credit card facilities. You may close bank accounts and obtain a bank account closure letter from the bank. Furthermore, with regards to your loan/credit card payments, you may pay the balance payments to your bank and obtain a ‘no due certificate’ or loan/credit card(s) facility closure letter from the bank.

Your employer may proceed to cancel your UAE residency visa once you cancel the residency visas of your family members sponsored by you in the UAE(if any). On cancellation of your UAE residency visa in the UAE, you may reside in the country on a grace period as stipulated by GDRFA.

It should be noted that if you are aware of your last working day with your employer, it will be prudent on your part to contact your landlord/building management company immediately and issue a notice in writing that you will cancel your tenancy contract (by paying penalties as mentioned in the tenancy contract if any) on a specific date.

In the event your tenancy contract is due to expire soon, you may write to your landlord/building management company that you do not wish to renew your tenancy contract. You may also cancel the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) services of your rented apartment before travelling to your home country.

However, if you are provided accommodation by your employer in the UAE, you may have to vacate the same within 30 days from your last working day with your employer. This is in accordance with Article 16(10) of the Employment Law.

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: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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