x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Being marked as an absconder may result into a lifetime ban from working in the UAE

On your side: Our resident consumer advocate answers a questions on visa cancellation and being banned from working in the UAE.

I am an Indian national and entered the UAE on April 15, 2007, on a visit visa which my employer converted to an employment visa. I left Dubai on June 26, 2008, on emergency leave after the death of my grandmother, but afterwards I was not able to come back to Dubai because my parents did not allow me. My residency visa stated it was valid until June 24, 2010, and I had a salary of Dh2,200 per month with accommodation and food. Last week I checked the DNRD [Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai] website and my visa status showed as "the residence invalid". I checked with my previous employer and they said that my visa was cancelled in 2008, even though it says 2010 in my passport. I have now applied for a job with a large UAE company, but have been told I cannot get a visa. How can I find out what happened and solve this? RK, India


I suspect that RK's visa was cancelled by his previous employer as he did not come back to work as expected and was probably marked as an absconder. In this case a residency visa can be cancelled without the individual being in the country. It is also possible for an absconder to be given a lifetime ban and in this situation when a new employer makes an application to the Ministry of Labour, it will automatically be rejected if a ban is showing on the individual's computer file. The Government has publicly stated that a lifetime ban is irreversible, but my understanding is that a government or semi-government organisation can seek to have it overturned in isolated cases. RK could contact the DRND to see if the ban is marked as permanent or ask the company he has applied to work for to find out on his behalf.


Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com