x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Can former Dubai resident with DUI conviction return to work in the UAE?

Keren Bobker advises a US citizen who was convicted of driving under the influence and also damaged property.

A former dubai resident wants to return to the country but is concerned about a previous conviction. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
A former dubai resident wants to return to the country but is concerned about a previous conviction. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

I used to be a resident of Dubai. I am a non-Muslim, US citizen who unfortunately and regretfully had a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in early 2013. I paid a fine and no other charges or penalties were required. I damaged property which was paid for. Nine months later I voluntarily left the UAE under normal circumstances and was provided with a No Objection Letter from my previous employer. I am considering returning to the UAE in the next year and am assessing opportunities both with the Dubai Government as well as in the private sector. My question is: will the DUI conviction affect my ability to get a resident’s visa? GD, United States

Given the circumstances I see no reason why this would affect an application for a residency visa, especially as it did not result in jail or a ban. To be 100 per cent sure it would be wise to contact the relevant department of immigration, which varies by emirate, to ensure there is nothing registered against you, although this is unlikely. It would also be wise to disclose the information if asked about previous convictions on any job application as failure to do so could result in dismissal and many employers, particularly government entities, will run checks.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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