Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

'Can I sponsor my wife if she suffered tuberculosis nine years ago?'

The Briton wants to relocate to Dubai with his family and is concerned about his spouse's medical past

The reader's spouse had her condition successfully treated in the UK. Getty Images
The reader's spouse had her condition successfully treated in the UK. Getty Images

I'm a British national looking to move to Dubai with my family. My wife had TB approximately nine years ago and was fully treated by the National Health Service in the UK. Since then, we have lived in places such as Egypt and China without any further issues. Will I still be able to sponsor my wife to live in Dubai with me and our children? UA, UK

While the UAE has concerns regarding TB (tuberculosis), having suffered from the condition in the past does not mean that a visa application will be automatically declined. Following a clarification of the rules in 2016, residents will no longer be automatically deported if they contract TB. However, they must undergo screening for the condition when renewing their visas. The same situation applies in respect of new visa applications.

As UA’s wife was treated and cured, he can apply to sponsor her. Not all visa applicants have to have a chest X-ray, even for a first visa. It is best to be properly prepared, so they need to gather copies of the relevant medical records and have them legally attested. They can then be quickly provided if there is an issue or the medical fitness test is failed due to TB scars. The Ministry of Health has previously stated that people found with scars, active TB or drug-resistant TB will be issued a residence visa for a year and must undergo treatment here. This is why past medical records are helpful in demonstrating there is no further problem.

I have around Dh12,000 saved in UAE National Bonds but I will be leaving Abu Dhabi at the end of the year as I am returning to my home country. I have won a few prizes with my bonds so I would like to keep them,but can I still hold them, and win, if I am no longer resident in the UAE? AM, Abu Dhabi

UAE National Bonds are available to both UAE residents and non-residents so there is no issue in AM retaining his holding after leaving the UAE. Contact information will need to be updated as correspondence is sent by text message and/or email. If the email address changes this can be updated by logging in to the National Bonds website but for a change of telephone number AM must call National Bonds on 600 522279 or from outside the UAE on +971 4384 8000.

What are the redundancy rules for employees on limited contracts? I manage a small company of 10 employees and one department is costing us a lot more than it brings in, so we are looking to proceed with redundancy. The affected employee is on a limited two-year contract and the probation period is already finished. What do we need to pay in compensation? AS, Abu Dhabi

Companies can make staff redundant for genuine financial reasons and there is no specific legislation for redundancy over and above the standard rules for UAE Labour Law. This is not classed as arbitrary dismissal. If an employee is on a limited contract and is terminated part way through, Article 115 applies. This states: “Should the employment contract be of a determined term, and the employer rescind same for reasons not set forth in Article 120, he shall be bound to compensate the worker for the damage incurred thereto, provided that the compensation amount does not exceed in any case the total wage due for the period of three months or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.” Article 120 refers to a number of reasons why an employee can be dismissed without notice or additional payment, such as breaking the law and being absent without permission or during a probationary period.

In addition to the compensation for breaking the terms of the contract, the employer may be liable for other payments. Any days of annual leave that have accrued and not been taken must be paid in full. If the employee has been with the company for more than a full year, an end-of-service gratuity is payable, calculated as “the wage of 21 days for each of the first five years of service,” per Article 132 of Labour Law, on the basic salary. Also, where an employee is on a limited-term contract, they are only entitled to a gratuity payment when they have fewer than five years of service if they are made redundant by the employer or they do not renew the contract at the end date.

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: November 30, 2019 04:21 PM

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