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is it legal for the employer to charge their employee for a visa

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From computing your gratuities to drafting labor contracts, new legislation will soon control all elements of personal and professional relationships in the UAE's private industry. On February 2, 2022, State Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Administration of Employment Relationships will take effect, amending the present Federal Statute No. 8 of 1980 and its revisions. The new legislation establishes key laws that secure the interests of both the workers and management. Article 6 of the legislation, which governs employee recruiting and hiring, states that no employee may be hired without first receiving a work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). In addition, Clause 4 of the Act clearly prohibits firms from collecting the expense of recruiting and hiring employees, either explicitly or implicitly.

As a foreign employee in Dubai, there are certain things you must be aware of in order to avoid mistreatment from your employer. In this article today, we will talk about whether your employer can charge you for a work visa.

Employers Charge Employees For A Visa

Corporations may not charge employees for work permits, and the matter should be notified to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The employer's activities always seem to be illegal, and they will continue to be so. This is also explicitly mentioned in the revised labor legislation.

Article 6 of the legislation, which governs employee recruiting and hiring, states that "the company is forbidden from charging or collecting fees and expenses of recruiting and hiring from the employee, whether actively or passively." Numerous cabinet directives have addressed this issue, but the latest statute clarifies the position. An organization cannot also put in a contract of employment a provision stating that visa and residence renewal fees would be transferred over to the worker.

It is unlawful and would be prohibited in the formal contract filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. If an enterprise improperly imposes this charge on employees, they can lodge a complaint with the government and receive a refund. When calculating the gratuities payout, it must encompass the whole duration of employment with an employer, including the period of notice. Article 51.4 states that "unpaid periods of absence from work must not be seen in a computation of the employment period." The gratuities were lowered under former labor rules if an individual quit with less than 5 years of operation, however, this is no longer applicable. The regulations were altered once the new labor legislation went into force last month. Anyone that has worked for the company for much more than an entire calendar year is entitled to the full end-of-service payout, with no reduction for quitting.


Articles Regarding Employers Charging Employees

Article 51 of the legislation states: The full-time skilled migrant who finished a year or more of the employment agreement will be eligible to end-of-service bonuses at the conclusion of his employment, computed as per the basic pay as follows:

  • A salary of (21) twenty-one days for every year of employment in the first five years.
  • A pay of (30) thirty days for every year beyond that. The skilled migrant is entitled to compensation for sections of the year proportionate to the time spent at work, provided he has fulfilled one year of continuous service.


Article 6 – Recruitment Procedure And Laws Between Employer And Employee Explained

  • No labor may be undertaken in the UAE, nor may any employee be hired or engaged by any firm, unless the Work Permit is obtained from the Department in line with the agreement of this Decree-Law as well as its Executive Regulations.
  • The Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law should establish the requirements, restrictions, and kinds of Work Permits, as well as the processes for granting, renewing, and canceling them.
  • It is unlawful to engage in the hiring process or to operate as a middleman in recruiting or hiring employees without a Ministerial licence, subject to the restrictions and procedures outlined in the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.
  • An Entity shall not impose or accept recruiting and hiring charges from the employee, either explicitly or implicitly.
  • After consulting with the relevant entities in the UAE, the Ministers must provide decisions governing the Activities for which it is illegal to hire and engage Workers, as well as the prerequisites for doing so.



The UAE unveiled a new modified Labour Law in November this year, that will control the relationships between employers and employees there in UAE's private industry. The legislation, which regulates several elements of working career in the Emirates, will take effect on February 2, 2022. Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said that at a press conference on December 13 on how the new law might provide numerous alternative solutions for end-of-service advantages such as rescuing initiatives, and that another mainstream press briefing will be held to showcase some other possibilities which will be given access to staff members.

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