Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

'Can I cancel my UAE residency visa from the UK?'

The former UAE resident has completed his work contract and already left the country

Residents whose visas will expire between March 1 and December 31 will automatically renew until the end of the year. Andrew Parsons / The National
Residents whose visas will expire between March 1 and December 31 will automatically renew until the end of the year. Andrew Parsons / The National

Is it possible to cancel a UAE residency visa from outside the country? I completed my UAE work contract and I am now in the UK where I flew to just before borders were closed. My human resources manager says I have to fly back to finalise everything but I have no idea when flights will begin again. Is there an alternative way to deal with this? MS, UK

A person is normally expected to be in the UAE to present their passport for a residence visa to be cancelled. However, the process can also be completed if a person is abroad. A good public relations officer, the person who liaises with UAE government departments on a company's behalf, should be aware that this can be done without the employee being present.

It is also not essential to have the passport because it is no longer necessary for a residence visa to be stamped as cancelled as this is recorded in a centralised system. The employer should only have a copy of the passport and visa. The employer, or its public relations officer, must speak to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs, which is part of the Ministry of Interior, to resolve this. It is also not necessary for the person to be in the country, especially at this time when people are unable to travel to the UAE.

I worked for a free zone company since March 24 last year but resigned in March. However, the company said it will not pay me a gratuity because my contract began on April 24, 2019. Is that right? They are also not paying me for the annual leave I have not taken. I have only taken 15 days. As it is a breach of contract, they are asking for 45 days' compensation of gross salary, which is Dh6,000: D4,000 for my basic pay and Dh2,000 for my housing and transportation allowance. What is due to me? And is this 45 days' compensation based on gross pay or basic pay? NS, Dubai

The free zone NS worked for mainly follows the provisions of UAE Labour Law. It is correct that no end-of-service gratuity is payable as NS has been with the company for fewer than 12 months and the start date is counted as the date on the official contract.

Assuming NS is on a fixed-term contract, this will be for a period of two or three years. If he wishes to leave before the end of the agreed period, he will be in breach of contract and can be penalised. This is in accordance with Article 116 of UAE Labour Law that states: “Should the contract be rescinded by the worker … the worker shall be bound to compensate the employer for the loss incurred thereto by reason of the rescission of the contract, provided that the amount of compensation does not exceed the wage of half a month for the period of three months, or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.” Being paid half of your salary for 90 days is equivalent to the 45 days quoted and is usually calculated on the total salary.

When anyone leaves service outside of any probationary period, they are entitled to be paid for any days of annual leave accrued but not taken. This should be calculated to the final day of employment, including the notice period. This can be as part of a final payment or offset against any penalty payable.

I will be leaving my job soon and plan to leave the UAE. As I am a teacher, I need a good conduct certificate to take with me. With so many complications at the moment amid Covid-19, is it still possible to get the certificate and can I carry out the process without going out? FK, Dubai

Anyone can request a police clearance certificate. It is often requested by employers in the UAE and elsewhere, although it simply confirms that the person has not been in trouble with the authorities and there is no record of any criminal or antisocial activity. Residents can request a certificate using the police app or via the police website in the relevant emirate, in this case via www.dubaipolice.gov.ae. FK will need to follow instructions, such as uploading a copy of their Emirates ID and a passport-size photograph. The fee for expatriate residents is Dh200, plus service fees of Dh40. A certificate can be sent by email or, if a hard copy is required, it can be delivered at a charge of Dh13.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: May 10, 2020 12:10 PM

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