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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

'Can I obtain a police clearance certificate from outside the UAE?'

The former resident is now based in India and has outstanding debts in the Emirates

A good conduct certificate states whether a person has a criminal record or not and is often required when moving to another country. Pawan Singh / The National
A good conduct certificate states whether a person has a criminal record or not and is often required when moving to another country. Pawan Singh / The National

I am from India and have defaulted on payments for a credit card and a personal loan in Dubai. I am currently in India and would like to know if I can get a Police Clearance Certificate from Dubai. Is it possible if I am not there? VA, India

Police forces in the UAE will issue residents with a good conduct certificate via a specific procedure, assuming the individual has a clean record. The certificate states whether a person has a criminal record or not and is often required when moving to another country. The system is designed for those still resident with ID cards to request the certificate before leaving the country, however, it is possible to apply if outside the UAE but the fee is higher. The service fee will be Dh300 instead of Dh200 for expatriates who are resident. Someone who is no longer resident in the UAE will need to get a fingerprint card approved by the UAE or any GCC council and submit this with two recent passport-sized photographs, a copy of a valid passport, a copy of their last UAE visa and the reason for the application. This can usually be done online via the Dubai Police GHQ website.

The question, however, is whether VA can get a certificate that states that he has been a good citizen. Defaulting on a debt is a criminal offence in the UAE and he has done this more than once. As payments are more than three months in arrears it is likely that the banks have registered police cases for debt and this will mean that a clear certificate will not be available and also that VA will be unable to re-enter the UAE without being detained.

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I am a Filipina working as a nurse here in Dubai. I have a question regarding changing my name after marriage. My boyfriend and I are planning to get married next month. Is it necessary for me to change my surname? My main concern is that I have a pending application to move to the United States and changing my name within the process may cause some delays. Can I choose not to change my name for now? GT, Dubai

This is absolutely no legal requirement for any woman to change her surname on marriage while resident in the UAE. It is simply custom in certain countries for women to take their husband’s name but there is no rule that says she must do that and in some places it is not even legally permitted. It is common in Arabian Gulf countries for women not to change their names on marriage and instead to retain their own family name instead. It is therefore no issue for any woman to keep her own name on marriage and it has become more common in many cultures to do just that.

I have had a few bouts of illness this year and have taken some time off work. This has all been genuine and I provided certificates from a doctor to my boss. I am now being told they will not pay me for any more days that I take off sick and they will fire me if I am off sick much more. I want to know if they are breaking the law as this seems unfair. This is a medium sized LLC company. TM, Abu Dhabi

UAE Labour Law clearly sets out the minimum obligation regarding the payment of employees if they are off work due to ill health. This is stated in Article 183 of the law which says: "Should the worker spend more than three months after the end of the probation period in the continuous service of the employer and contracted an illness, he shall be entitled to a sick leave not exceeding 90 consecutive or non-consecutive days for every year of service, calculated as follows: a.The first 15 days with full pay. b. The following 30 days with half pay. c. The following periods without pay."

TM has been with the company for nine months and it seems that he has taken 10 days off work this year so far due to ill health. Per the law, his employer must pay him in full for the next five days of sick leave, and then at a rate of 50 per cent of his usual salary for a further 30 days. They cannot at this stage refuse to pay him for being unwell. It is important to note, however, that the employer does have the right to let an employee go it they are off work for a long period. Article 85 of Labour Law clarifies this: "The employer may terminate the service of the worker subsequent to the exhaustion thereby of the sick leaves set forth in Article … 84 hereof, should he not be able to report back to his work."

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and Senior Partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 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.