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CHANGING SURETIES – An Employment Dilemma

Written by Adnan Ashraf Esq. on
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UAE’s population is ever increasing but what is to be noted here is that the population of the UAE nationals is only about 12% whereas the expats (expatriates1) make up for the rest of the 88% of the total population. According to the UAE law all expats are aliens. An alien is defined in the Article 1 of the federal law no. 6 of 1973 “On Entry and Residence of Aliens’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the law’) as whoever is not the national of the UAE.

The constitution of the UAE through article 34 grants the freedom to choose one’s own occupation, trade or profession. But this freedom is granted only to the UAE citizens, which means 88% of the population in UAE is deprived of this freedom. The present article is going to look into the provisions of the law and the implementing law (the implementing regulation to federal law no. 6 of 1973 on alien’s entry and residence) for the transfer of workplace of the aliens living on work-residence visas in UAE.

According to article 13 of the implementing law, for an alien to be granted visa he must have a surety residing in the Country whether the latter be a national or an alien. The term ‘surety’ is not defined in the implementing law but according to article 14 ‘The surety guarantees the veracity of the information written down in the application and undertakes to bring the guaranteed or, where necessary, get him out of the Country or any other obligation imposed on him by the General Administration for Nationality and Residence’. Thus the surety is the person, who takes responsibility and gives guarantee to the government for the guaranteed alien‟s law abiding conduct, and for the accuracy and reliability of the documents presented and the information given by the guaranteed in his visa application.

In case of a residential-work visa, the employer is the surety of the employee and gives guarantee to the UAE government for the employee. As the employer is the surety and takes the guarantee of the employee, article 67 of the implementing law provides that the guaranteed person shall undertake not to work with anyone other than his surety also it provides a reciprocal provision for the surety that the surety shall undertake not to employ any alien guaranteed by someone else without abiding by the terms and conditions of the transfer of guarantee as stated in the article 68.

Further the law places a duty on the surety to inform the Nationality and Residence Administration or the nearest police station of the alien under his guaranty who has left his service for any reason whatsoever within three months from the date the alien guaranteed leaves his work.

Article 68 of the implementing law provides for conditions and procedures for the transfer of the alien’s guaranty to work. The said conditions are listed below:

    1. If the application for transfer is from an organization, institution or company of the public sector to another similar one, the following conditions should be met:

      a. The approval of the previous surety and the new one.

      b. The approval of the application by the Nationality and Residence Administration.

    2. If the application for transfer is from a private sector to a public or private one, the
    following conditions should be met:

      a. The approval of the previous surety and the new one.

      b. Ratification of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs if the guaranteed person is included in the classes subjected to the Law regulating the Labor Relations.

      c. Ratification of the application by the Nationality and Residence Administration.

    3. If the transfer is from a public to a private sector, the following conditions are required:

      a. The approval of the previous surety and the new one.

      b. The approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on the transfer, if the guaranteed person is included in the classes subjected to the Law regulating the Labor Relations.

      c. The approval of the Nationality and Residence Administration on the application.

    4. If the application for transfer concerns the class of house servants or those in similar condition, the following conditions are required:

      a. The guaranteed must have completed the contract period agreed upon between the parties.

      b. The guaranteed person must give a thirty day advance notice to his surety of his will not to renew the contract upon expiration of the fixed period.

      c. Payment of the fees prescribed for the transfer of the guarantee.

      In all instances, the guarantee may be transferred without abiding by the conditions mentioned in paragraphs (a and b) in case of securing the surety‟s approval.

    5. If the application concerns the transfer of aliens guaranteed by their parents to the private sector, the following conditions are required:

      a. The approval of the previous surety and the new one.

      b. The approval of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, if the guaranteed person is included in the classes subjected to the Law regulating the Labor Relations.

      c. The approval of the Nationality and Residence Administration.

    6. If the application for transfer concerns aliens guaranteed by the public or private sector to reside with their parents, the following conditions are required:

      a. The new surety must fulfill the conditions for guaranteeing his family.

      b. Approval of the previous surety and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, if the guaranteed person is included in the classes subjected to the Law regulating the Labor Relations.

      c. The approval of the Nationality and Residence Administration.

      In addition, it is required to transfer the guarantee from the public sector to individuals or from an individual to another, and that the new surety satisfies the conditions required for the guarantee mentioned in this Regulation.

    7. The guarantee of house servants, or the like, may be provisionally transferred in accordance with the following conditions:

      a. The provisional transfer must be within the jurisdiction of the concerned Administration according to the prescribed restrictions and conditions.

      b. The period of the provisional transfer must not exceed 90 days.

      c. The provisional surety shall, during the specified period, guarantee all incumbent legal liabilities.

      d. The guaranteed person must not commence the provisional work except after obtaining the card or authorization required for this purpose.

      e. Payment of the prescribed fees for the transfer of the guarantee.

In all cases the provisional transfer of residence for the same guaranteed person may not be effected more than once.

If the guaranteed alien changes his workplace without the approval of his surety, such an alien need to be reported at the Nationality and Residence General Administration and shall be considered to be the persons escaped from their surety. The name of such persons shall be put on an administrative list as a result of which such person shall be prohibited to enter the Country because of cancellation of their residence or prohibited from exit therefrom and their arrest is requested. Their name shall be removed from the list after a period of one year from the departure or deportation from the country.

A person may be deported and banned from the country for a period of a full year. Therefore it is recommended that one should take care while getting into any arrangement with a person becoming one‟s surety, also changing of surety should be done only with the consultation of the existing surety.

[1] A person temporarily or permanently residing, in a country and culture, which is other than that of the person’s upbringing.

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For legal advice regarding the subject, please call +971 4 4221944, or call 800-LAWYER (529937).


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