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Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Old Feb 7th 2017, 11:30 pm
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Default Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Looking for advice for a friend....


A friend has left Dubai after attempting to hand in one months notice, but was told by his employer to leave the company straight away, and not to work his notice but to bring his passport and money for his visa to the company in order to get it cancelled.


Long story short, his employer is trying to charge the cost of his visa, and will only cancel it when he pays up, and if he hands over his passport, his employer won't release it until he receives monies. Because of this threat, my friend left Dubai and is now in the UK but unsure what to do. He wants his visa cancelled and be able to visit Dubai in the future however doesn't feel he should pay for his visa.


Important to not before the 'abuse' starts, he has no debts or car left at the airport, everything is clear! lol




His employment contract with the company says if he leave within 12 months he should repay all costs.
If my friend had worked his notice, it would have taken him over the 12 month period, but he was told to go straight after the conversation.


Can the visa be cancelled without sending the passport back to Dubai?


Will he be able to visit Dubai in the future if he's classed as 'absconded'?


A visa which becomes invalid due to not entering the country after 6 months, this does not mean cancelled, correct?





Any advice


Thanks in advance
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

My understanding of the labour laws is that employees are not liable for visa expenses. You leave, tough luck for the company.
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Yes, my understanding too however, the company doing this has done this to most of their previous employees, charging up to AED 8k each for visa costs.


Employees are threatened them with the company owners 'contacts' and his 'important, high up' company sponsor and states that if an employee wants to open a case against him, it will cost them a minimum AED30k each and they will be liable to cover his costs too so most employees end up paying the charge as they have found another job and need their visa's cancelled.


my friend has retruned to the UK and doesn't plan on working their anytime soon but would like the option to visit Dubai again and doesn't want issues when travelling.......... but without being bullied into paying visa costs which are illegal
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Only solution is to go to the ministry of Labour (or the free zone).

They are quite good at defending employee rights. A quick phone call from the ministry to the company is usually sufficient to settle the situation quickly because companies fear being fined by the MoL. And it doesn't matter who the sponsor is. If it's no Al Futtaim they're just being bullies. And Al Futtaim doesn't pull this shite. Anyone who 'threatens' with a veiled references to prominent sponsors with wastas are just bullies and are never actually what they claim to be, because people with genuine wasta know what to do and not to do to maintain their wasta, and this kind of crap isn't the stuff worth risking wasta over.

Problem is that he's already left the country and company will probably claim that he absconded. He really should have gone straight to MOL from the get-go and he'd have got his visa cancelled within a few days.
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

thanks for the information.


he has spoken with his employer via email after he questioned the law and charge for cancellation, albeit his employer replied in a rather rude unprofessional email with loads of personal insults which was not required, he has said as a sign of goodwill, his offer still stands for my friend to pay half the costs.
due to the horror stories around visa's and different things, my friend thought it best he leave while he has his passport as his boss said, he will get it cancelled, but will definitely drag his heels in the process and the passport not returned until all money has been paid, hence jumping on a plane out of there.
was just wondering if there is other ways to cancel the visa without the passport being handed over?

Last edited by IrishManc; Feb 8th 2017 at 2:41 am.
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

I have been to the building where visas get canceled, it is a fast process but your sponsor needs to initiate it (you can't just rock up yourself and get it done, if you're on an employment visa). Our company had an employee (a national) specifically responsible for this.

My understanding of the labour law is that if you are an absconder, you face an employment ban - not a visitation ban - and the employment ban is fixed, not permanent. That is to stop people from "company hopping" once their employer sinks a lot of money into a visa for them.

Unofficially I have been told by locals that in an employment dispute, once a foreigner leaves, they leave (ie they need to fight it while they are still in the country). I concur with DXBtoDOH that this acquaintance who you only know casually probably should have just gone straight to the Ministry, particularly since the friend is not interested in working there again there would have been nothing to lose.

But as with most things in the Middle East this can be opaque. I wouldn't bet my life that there isn't also a visit ban - that can be done if your employer is angry enough to cash in some chits with a contact at immigration or the police - but they would have to be pretty angry to follow through with that.

Your employer also could have blocked you at the airport from leaving. They did not.
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Visa ban Dubai
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Old Feb 11th 2017, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

name and shame the employer
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

if your friend has a threatening email, he can take a police case out against the employer even if he's abroad.
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Wouldn't it be easier if the friend posts the question?
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 5:45 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

So, being new to this. Perhaps a dumb question, but how do people actually move jobs within the UAE?

Do you have to wait until the end of your contract and then find try to find something. And what if you get to the end of your contract, want to leave, but decide to hang on at the place until you find another job. Wouldnt you then be in a new contract with the existing employer.

Maybe I'm missing something but I thought all jobs here were fixed term contracts - but that would mean nobody could ever change jobs within the UAE without resigning first and then looking for a new job?
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Who is asking, you or your friend?
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Originally Posted by dominoman
So, being new to this. Perhaps a dumb question, but how do people actually move jobs within the UAE?

Do you have to wait until the end of your contract and then find try to find something. And what if you get to the end of your contract, want to leave, but decide to hang on at the place until you find another job. Wouldnt you then be in a new contract with the existing employer.

Maybe I'm missing something but I thought all jobs here were fixed term contracts - but that would mean nobody could ever change jobs within the UAE without resigning first and then looking for a new job?
Most people change jobs when they get fired or made redundant

Last edited by Millhouse; Feb 12th 2017 at 4:49 pm.
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

Originally Posted by dominoman
So, being new to this. Perhaps a dumb question, but how do people actually move jobs within the UAE?

Do you have to wait until the end of your contract and then find try to find something. And what if you get to the end of your contract, want to leave, but decide to hang on at the place until you find another job. Wouldnt you then be in a new contract with the existing employer.

Maybe I'm missing something but I thought all jobs here were fixed term contracts - but that would mean nobody could ever change jobs within the UAE without resigning first and then looking for a new job?
I've only ever been on an open ended contract here.
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Old Feb 12th 2017, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Visa Cancellation / Absconding

There are two types of contracts and they are slightly different. Most people are on unlimited contracts. People move jobs all the time in the UAE (or get made redundant/fired). It's NBD if you work for a proper western employer.

There are fixed contracts that run for a certain duration but those are rarer. The difference really manifests itself in the EOS and what's owed to you if you're made redundant.

In Dubai, you do have the regular employment contracts and the free zone contracts and there are slight differences, mostly to do with who the labour arbitrator is in case one is needed.

Note: I say all the above from the perspective of a westerner. There are still some vague rules about employment bans for leaving an employer early, but the laws as they currently stand allow highly paid westeners to job hop pretty easily and ignore the bans or have them overturned. If you're a labourer or a working stiff in retail / services, or a maid, the scenario is quite different.


Originally Posted by dominoman
So, being new to this. Perhaps a dumb question, but how do people actually move jobs within the UAE?

Do you have to wait until the end of your contract and then find try to find something. And what if you get to the end of your contract, want to leave, but decide to hang on at the place until you find another job. Wouldnt you then be in a new contract with the existing employer.

Maybe I'm missing something but I thought all jobs here were fixed term contracts - but that would mean nobody could ever change jobs within the UAE without resigning first and then looking for a new job?
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