UAE law: Can employers ask their employees to pay for the visa cost?

A KT reader asks if employers must cover employment-related costs

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 1 Jan 2023, 9:18 AM

Last updated: Sat 18 Feb 2023, 1:07 PM

Question: I have been offered a job in a restaurant in Dubai. The restaurant owner is asking me to pay for the visa cost. Kindly explain whether the employer or employee pays the visa cost.

Response: We assume that your employment is governed by the provisions of the federal employment laws of the United Arab Emirates, i.e., Federal Decree-Law No (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the “Employment Law”).


Pursuant to the provisions of the Employment Law, employers are prohibited from charging their employees for the fees and costs of recruitment and employment or collecting such fees and costs from their employees, whether directly or indirectly. This follows clause 4 of Article (6) of the Employment Law, which reads as follows:

"4. An Employer shall not charge the Employee or collect from him recruitment and employment costs, either directly or indirectly."


Following the provision of the Employment Law as mentioned above, it has been clarified that such provision requires employers to pay the costs of the issuance of an entry visa and travel to the UAE and the costs of post arrival processing requirements like medical tests, and the issuance of the residency permit for the employees.

In view of the foregoing, your employer is not entitled to recover visa costs or any recruitment related costs from you, whether fully or partially. It is the employer who is liable to incur the visa costs entirely. By referring to the provision of the Employment Law, as mentioned above, you may prevail upon your prospective employer to pay for your visa costs and all other recruitment costs.

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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