Visa laws simplify labourer movement

The UAE’s construction sector is set to benefit from a subtle shift in labour law that will allow employees to move easily between two companies within the same umbrella organisation.

  • E-Mail
By  Eudore Chand Published  December 13, 2003

The UAE’s construction sector is set to benefit from a subtle shift in labour law that will allow employees to move easily between two companies within the same umbrella organisation. Until now, transferring staff between two companies, even if they were owned by the same UAE family business, required a new visa application. Now, employers will only have to transfer labour cards. The movement of staff within companies sharing sponsors is common in the construction industry. Many of the UAE’s wealthiest families established their business empires by starting companies that served multiple segments of the construction industry. The new law from the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs was approved last week by the Higher Labour Committee at its meeting week, said Eisa Saleh, head of the Legal Affairs Department and spokesman for the committee. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Labour & Social Affairs, Mattar Humaid Al Tayer. In an interview with Khaleej Times, Saleh emphasised that the new law applies only to the employees transferring from one establishment to another sponsored by the same employer. “The practice required a sponsor owning more than one company to apply for sponsorship transfer for his employee if he is shifting to another company within the same emirate or in another emirate, thus having to incur the expenses of visa transfer, and had to go through the process of changing the visa from one company to another.” With the implementation of the new procedure, the sponsor has to only apply for changing the employee’s labour card from one company to another he owns,” Saleh said, observing that the employee should be changing to a job similar to the one he performed at the previous company. At the same committee meeting, it was also decided to postpone a new law that would have allowed employers to apply for up to 50 employment visas at once. The current limit of 25 visas will remain in place. The ministry is also thinking of fixing a minimum budget for a project that justifies a company’s request for recruiting foreign workers in bulk. There was no strategic reason for the delay in implementing the law, according to Saleh, it was simply that the computer system needed to deal with bulk visa applications has not yet been installed. The system, when completed, will allow the ministry to efficiently track the movement of semi-permanent workers in the UAE.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code