New UAE work visa rule

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By 2018-01-14

By Leon Berenger

Sri Lankans leaving the country for work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will now be required to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate prior to departure, a move the industry fears could dwarf the recruitment process in that sector.

The new regulation states that all foreign workers entering the country should obtain......a 'certificate of good conduct' from their home country prior to entering the UAE for work.

However, this is not applicable for tourist and visit visa holders, the officials said.

The announcement was made on Monday and the new rule will come into effect from 4 February.

The certificate should be issued by the country of origin of the person, or the country where the individual has been living for the past five years and it should be ratified by the UAE Embassy and later with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The certificate will only be applicable for the worker concerned and not his/her dependents.

The move is aimed at creating a more 'safer and sustainable society' in the UAE, according to the officials. President of the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) A.C.A. Hassan said the move is bound to have an adverse effect on the recruitment of workers in that sector.

"It is a known thing that obtaining a Police clearance certificate is a long drawn process and could affect the employment chances of many locals."

An UAE visa is valued for only 45 days after it is issued and sometimes Police clearance could take several weeks if not months.

"It is most likely that the UAE Government will bring in some amendments to this new rule once the repercussions starts to set in," Hassan added. Upul Deshapriya, Working Director, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) disputed the claim by ALFEA saying that all that is needed is a clearance letter from the area Police which could be obtained in a few days.

The Police clearance letter for 'Permanent Residency' (PR) overseas takes time since there is finger printing involved which is carried out at Police Head Quarters and other branches, he explained.

"The industry should not worry about these matters," he added.

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