UAE Immigration: Visa, Deportation, Blacklist & Appeals
by Atty. Barney Almazar
The General Directorate of Naturalization and Residency (GDNR) is the authority responsible for the issuance, renewal and cancellation of entry permissions and visas pursuant to the rules and instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior.
There are 2 major types of residence permits:
a. For employment – under the (1) government, federal, public sector, international bodies and corporations, (2) private sector as a worker, employer
or employee and (3) individuals as professionals, domestic servants and the like; and
b. For residence without employment – granted to those who will (1) join his family, (2) enroll in a university, college or institute, and (3) join a training or specialty course in one of the public corporations or entities.
The holder of residence permit shall be authorized to reside in the UAE during the granted period, and shall, upon the expiry of or earlier cancellation of the permit, leave UAE within a maximum period of thirty days.
The residence permit shall be deemed cancelled if the holder stays outside the UAE for more than six months.
Visit visa holders are not allowed to work anywhere in the UAE with or without payment or for his own as employer. If the visa is issued for employment, the holder cannot work for another without the written consent of the GDNR.
A foreigner who has no expired or cancelled residence visa shall be deported at his own expense by an order of the GDNR. However, the Ministry of Interior may issue an administrative order for deportation of any foreigner, even if the foreigner has a residence visa, in the following cases:
a. if he has been convicted and the court has issued an order for his deportation;
b. if he has no apparent means of living; and
c. if the security authorities see that deportation is dictated by public interest, security or morals.
The order of deportation issued to a foreigner may include the members of his family who are under his sponsorship. If the foreigner against whom a deportation order has been issued has interests in the UAE which require to be settled, he can be granted respite to settle such interests after providing an acceptable sponsorship provided that such respite will not exceed three months.
The Blacklist contains the names of individuals prohibited from entering or leaving the UAE for committing a crime, for claims of civil rights against them or for posing a threat to public security. According to Article 94 of the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No 6 of 1973 as amended by Ministerial Decree No 83 of 2002, the following are prohibited from entering the UAE:
1. Those who have previously committed crimes and a deportation order from the UAE has been issued against them by the competent court;
2. Those who were deported according to administrative orders issued by the Ministry of Interior;
3. Those whose activities were reported by the International Criminal Cooperation Administration;
4. Those who were proved to be have HIV or AIDS or other diseases that the Ministry of Health deems to be threat to public health; and
5. Those who were deported from GCC countries on criminal grounds.
The same article provides the list of individuals who are prohibited from leaving the UAE:
1. A person against whom an order has been issued by the Public Prosecutor or a representative thereof in a case under investigation;
2. A person against whom a written order has been issued in a case by a competent court; and
3. A person who is indebted to the government and a prohibition order has been issued by the Minister of Interior or his representative.
In addition to the blacklist, there is also an Administrative List which contains the names of individuals prohibited to enter UAE due to cancellation of their residence permits and those who cannot leave the country and are to be apprehended due to an absconding case filed by their sponsors.
UAE Immigration: Visa, Deportation, Blacklist & Appeals
Penalties and Fines
A foreigner against whom a deportation order has been issued may be held in custody for a period not exceeding two weeks wherever such custody is essential for the execution of the deportation order.
In Dubai, holders of expired or cancelled residence visa is subject to AED100 fine (after the 30-day grace period) plus AED25/ day of overstay. Holders of expired tourist visa is subject to AED100 fine plus AED100/ day of overstay.
Failure to pay the fine will mean jail term for a maximum of three months and the courts may likewise order deportation after serving jail term.
Overturning Deportation Orders
A person who has been deported may not return to UAE unless a special permission is secured from the Ministry of Interior. The mechanism to overturn an order of deportation varies as to the cause of such deportation:
• An amnesty law issued for the crime committed by the deportee or a pardon decree issued for the crime will allow the deportee to return to the country
• Legal rehabilitation • A court decision passed for the deportee
Check out our video on the UAE Law – UAE Code of Conduct, Black Lists and Debt-Related Issues
UAE Immigration: Visa, Deportation, Blacklist & Appeals
Illustrado LIVE! Let’s talk UAE Law, Debts, Blacklist, atbp.Illustrado Live: You and the Law! Team Illustrado chats LIVE with Atty. Barney Almazar on the UAE Code of Conduct and how to address debt-related issues in the UAE
Posted by Illustrado Magazine on Thursday, June 9, 2016
Common questions regarding visa, immigration, deportation, blacklist and appeals –
The General Directorate of Naturalization and Residency (GDNR) is the authority responsible for the issuance, renewal and cancellation of entry permissions and visas pursuant to the provisions of Federal Law No 6 of 1973 on Entry and Residence of Foreigners as well as the rules and instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior.
Who are deemed foreigners? Is dual citizenship recognized in the UAE?
Any person who is not a citizen of UAE is considered a foreigner subject to the immigration laws of the country. The UAE does not recognize dual citizenship. If you are a dual citizen, you must present the same passport in entering and exiting the country.
If a Filipina marries an Emirati, will she automatically become a citizen of UAE?
No. She is required to renounce her Philippine citizenship and apply for Emirati citizenship. Children with Filipino mother and Emirati father can acquire Emirati citizenship.
What are the types of entry permissions to UAE? If issued in Dubai, can it be used in Abu Dhabi?
The GDNR issues visit/tourist visas, residence visa for employment and residence visas without employment (such as those sponsored by their family).
The entry permits/visas, regardless of place of issuance, is valid in any emirate.
Can I work under a visit visa?
No. A visit visa will not allow you to work, whether paid or not. Even if you are self-employed, you are not allowed to perform any work on a visit visa.
If your visa is issued for employment, you cannot work for another without the written consent of the GDNR.
Can a visa be cancelled without notification to the holder? Can I be deported even if my visa is still valid?
The Ministry of Interior can cancel a visa/entry permit at any time, even prior to expiry date for reasons of public interest.
As a general rule, only those who have no, expired or cancelled visa are deported. However, the Ministry of Interior may issue an order for deportation of any foreigner, even if he holds a valid visa, in the following cases:
- if he has been convicted and the court has issued an order for his deportation;
- if he has no apparent means of living; and
- if the security authorities see that deportation is dictated by public interest, security or morals.
What are the rules being observed by the UAE Immigration regarding a foreigner’s passport?
The passport must conform to the following in order for its holder to enter UAE:
- must have a validity of not less than 6 months
- no manipulation of photo
- no removal or alteration in the particulars
- no apparent damage that prejudices the particulars
- no irregularities in pagination/page numbers/missing/pulled pages
If the grace period (following the visa cancellation) has lapsed, can I just pay the overstay fine while waiting for my new visa?
You can pay the overstay fine as long as your previous sponsor has not yet filed an absconding case against you. Your sponsor has the right to report you as an absconder if you failed to leave the country or get a new visa after the lapse of your grace period following cancellation. Even if you are willing to pay your overstay fine, the Immigration will still require you to clear your absconding case.
Can my employer file an absconding case against me if I’m not in the country?
As a general rule, an absconding case can only be filed if the employee is inside the UAE. However, your employer can file an absconding case against you and cancel your visa if you are out of the country for more than 3 months.
What is an exit prohibition order?
It contains the list of individuals who are prohibited from leaving the UAE due to:
- an order has been issued by the Public Prosecutor in a case under investigation;
- a written order has been issued in a case by a competent court; or
If I have a pending Police Case, can my visa application be granted?
It depends where you are at the time of application. If you are in the UAE, your visa application will be denied unless you will be able to clear your case. If your visa application is being processed while you are outside UAE (meaning a case has been filed against you after you left UAE), then your visa will still be approved as the government is interested to acquire jurisdiction over your person and proceed with the case when you enter UAE.
Is it true that those who were deported can return to UAE after a year?
The automatic removal from the blacklist has limited application. Only the following can re-enter the country one year following their deportation: (1) domestic helpers whose visas were cancelled prior to expiry of contract; (2) those deported for overstaying and (3) those who did not pay their overstay fine in full.
Those deported for other reasons can return to UAE by appealing their cases before the Immigration, Prosecutor or the courts.
Is it legal to buy a visa? How can I legally stay in the country if I do not have a sponsor?
Buying of visa is illegal. The easiest and most practical way to have your own visa is to create your own company that will sponsor your residence visa.
You will not need to lease an office space or find a local sponsor. You can even split the cost of setting up a freezone company with your friends as all of you can become shareholders and at the same time be sponsored by your own company. A freezone company can provide you up to 3 visas valid for 3 years for only AED35,000. If you have more friends who wants to become shareholders, you can setup a company with up to 6 visas for only AED45,000.
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ATTY BARNEY ALMAZAR
Multi-awarded advocate Atty. Barney is a partner at Gulf Law in the Middle East, Philippines and United Kingdom. He holds Juris Doctor and MBA dual degrees with concentration on International Business and European Union Law (University of London). He is a partner at Avanti Gulf, a recruitment company with access to 400 firms and 16,000 recruiters across six continents. For more information, visit www.gulflaw.info or call 971 4 444 94 04 . You may also write to Atty. Almazar at firstname.lastname@example.org