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Major changes in UAE visa rules

The previous mandatory deposit of Dh3,000 per worker is now replaced by a new insurance scheme

Abu Dhabi:  The UAE Cabinet on Wednesday adopted a number of strategic decisions with regards to foreign workers’ insurance in the private sector, as well as a legislative package of visa facilitations.

A new insurance scheme for workers’ guarantees has been introduced. The previous mandatory deposit of Dh3,000 per worker is now replaced by a new insurance scheme that cost only Dh60 annually per worker.

The decisions were approved on Wednesday during a cabinet meeting chaired  His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The newly created scheme secures workers’ rights in the private sector and reduces the burdens on employers. It allows businesses to recover approximately Dh14 billion, representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, which will enable them to further invest in the development of their business. The system also enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE, which effectively contributes to market prosperity and growth.

The new system aims to achieve a wider coverage of the rights and entitlements for the workers. The value of the insurance policy in the new system is Dh60 per year for each worker and covers the workers’ entitlements in terms of end of service benefits, vacation allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, worker’s return ticket and cases of work injury, in which the insurance coverage amounts to Dh20,000 per worker.

The Cabinet also adopted a number of visa facilitations for visitors, residents, families and people overstaying their visa to cater for a wider segment of the society. The Cabinet approved a new legislative package, including a review of the current residency system to allow a two-year extension of the residency period for the dependents of their parents after finishing their university studies.

A new decision has also been approved to exempt transit passengers from all entry fees for the first 48 hours. Transit visa can be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of only Dh50. Obtaining transit visa will be facilitated by a number of express counter at the passport-control hall across UAE airports.

In the same context, the Cabinet adopted a decision to grant people overstaying their visa a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a “no entry” passport stamp. A new 6-month visa will be introduced for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The temporary visa enhances the UAE’s position as a land of opportunities and a destination for talents and professionals.

As for Individuals who entered the UAE illegally, they will have the chance to leave voluntarily with a “no entry” stamp for two years given that they provide a valid return ticket.

Equally, in a step aimed at simplifying the process and easing the financial burden on individuals wishing to adjust or renew their visa, they can now do so for a fee without having to leave and re-enter the country.

On the other hand, the Cabinet adopted a resolution on empowering “People of Determination” and enabling them to access the job market. The resolution provides them with the necessary support to obtain equal employment opportunities in various sectors in line with the Government’s social development programs for all segments of the society.

In the same context, the Cabinet adopted the decision to host the headquarters of the Asian Paralympic Committee in the UAE to serve as a unique sports hub in Asia and to provide training courses and workshops for “People of Determination”.

In the regulatory affairs, the Cabinet approved the amendment of the statutes of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. It also adopted a draft law on the adoption of the unified final account for the fiscal year 2017, and approved an additional financial plan for the general budget of the Union for the fiscal year 2018.

The Cabinet adopted an agreement between the Government of the UAE and the Government of the Russian Federation on the mutual exemption of visa requirements for citizens of the UAE and the citizens of the Russian Federation, thus opening new horizons for mutual tourism, investment and trade.

The Cabinet also adopted an agreement between the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the International Exhibitions Bureau on the privileges and benefits accorded to official participants in Expo2020.

The Cabinet ratified two agreements on air transport services between the Government of the UAE and the Government The Republic of Guinea, and the Government of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The Cabinet endorsed a number of agreements on the mutual protection of investments between the Government of the UAE and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Government of the Republic of Colombia. As well as the endorsement of conventions on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of financial evasion in respect of taxes on income and capital with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, and the Government of Turkmenistan.

 

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