UAE labour law change

New visa regulations to be implemented in the UAE

Expat labourers in the UAE will no longer require a no-objections certificate (NOC) to renew visas and change jobs, following a change in visa renewal laws.

At present, foreign workers in the UAE leaving their existing job within two years – due to a breach of their employment terms or a dismissal –  are unable to seek new employment for a six month period unless they hold an NOC issued by their previous employer.

“The labour and immigration authorities have made a series of announcements regarding bans, so there is a clear policy decision to tighten up on this issue,” Stuart Walker of Dubai’s Afridi and Angell law office in Dubai told Reuters.

In the past, many foreign workers without the NOC relocated to Dubai, where expats previously employed by the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) could be recruited, even if they did not possess the certificate.

However, in late May, DIFC announced the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (DNRD) will no longer be granting work visas to such expats.

The new rules come after private sector labour regulations were revealed stating workers with long experience who are not in careers which could endanger lives can shift to a new employer without getting a job ban even if they do not possess the educational qualifications required in the exempted categories, authorities have said.


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