Reprieve for workers with six-month visa ban in UAE

Expatriate workers who have received a six-month ban on leaving their jobs recently will be able to obtain new work permits from January 1, if they have completed two years with their former employers, a senior official from the Ministry of Labour said.

Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director-General at the Ministry, said these workers will be issued new work permits from January even if they have not served the full six-month ban.

Following the implementation of the new rules by the Ministry of Labour, expatriate workers who have completed two years with their employers can change jobs without serving the ban.

He said sponsors cannot force employees to continue to work for them if the workers do not wish to do so. If workers have quit before the completion of two years then they will not be issued labour cards until the two-year period is over.

The official said if a worker, who has cancelled his residence visa, returns to the UAE on a visit visa, he will not get a work permit before the expiry of the two-year period. Bin Deemas said the relationship between a sponsor and a worker will end with the expiry of the labour card, which is limited to two years. “Skilled and unskilled workers who end their contracts legally will get a labour permit,” he said.