24 January 2018

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Changes on how employment applications and work authorizations are processed

The Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and some free zone authorities recently made changes to the requirements and processes for employing foreign nationals.

These changes and additional requirements involve Police Clearance, E-Channels, Emirates ID’s, Arabic Translations, and TECOM Companies. 

Police Clearance Certificates /Good Conduct Certificate are now a required supporting document for job applications in the UAE.  This new requirement comes into effect 4 February.  Police Clearance Certificates must be translated into Arabic and attested by the UAE embassy.  The following criteria determines whether or not a Police Certificate is required:

  • If employee has lived outside the UAE for more than 5 years, certificates must be obtained from each country and attested, followed by attestation in the UAE
  • If employee has been inside the UAE for more than 5 years, the certificate will be issued from the UAE and bear the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) attestation
  • If employee has been in the UAE for less than 5 years, the certificate needs to be issued from the employees’ home country and attested by the UAE Embassy in that country, followed by attestation in the UAE

Students, tourists, holders of medical or mission visas and dependant family members of foreign workers are not required to obtain a certificate of good conduct.  Also employees born and residing in the UAE are not required to provide such a documents unless of course they spent time in another country as per above.

E-Channels have replaced the online visa FAWRI system.  E-Channels is now the portal for visa and permit applications for the Ministry of Labour (MOL).  Companies in Abu Dhabi that employee foreign nationals are urged to register, if they haven’t already done so, to avoid possible future immigration delays.

Dependent Applications now require the sponsor’s original Emirates ID to create, cancel or modify their applications.  Also renewal applications for dependants over 18 years of age also require the dependant’s original Emirates ID.

Supporting Documents that are submitted in support of an application must be in Arabic.  If these documents were issued in another language, a legal translation must be included with the original document.  These documents include degree certificates, marriage certificates and birth certificates.

TECOM Companies that operate under the umbrella of TECOM (DIC/DCCA/DSP) have seen numerous updates regarding processing times and application requirement.  A significant update is that Internal Visa Transfer is no longer available and falls under the Government Transfer process which requires a security check and medical test.

How does this affect the client?

 Employers and employees should make themselves familiar with the changes and consult their immigration specialist with any questions they have.  Further the above should provide a more efficient application process since most of the application process is now online with minimal original documents now required.



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