x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Need a short-term employee? Try a mission visa

Have a problem? Been treated unfairly? Our consumer advocate is on the case for you.

My company wants to bring over a few UK-based employees for a short period, but does not want to go down the route of providing residency, as they will only be needed for a limited period. Is there any way that these people could legally work in the UAE without residency? TR Dubai In this situation your best bet would be to apply for "mission visas" for the temporary workers. This is valid for up to 90 days, and designed for short-term employees.

Unlike the other visas, you do not apply at the Dubai Naturalisation & Residency Department (DNRD), but at the Ministry of Labour, and your company HR officer will likely know the process. The initial application includes a request for a temporary labour permit, for which passport copies and photographs are required. Once this has been issued, the standard medical tests must be completed before a visa is issued. The mission visa is valid for up to 60 days before entry, and the holder can stay in the UAE for up to 90 days after entry. The fee is Dh500, with a deposit of Dh3,000. The visa can be renewed for 90 days at a cost of Dh500. I understand that only companies that are registered with the Ministry of Labour may apply for mission visas, provided the number does not exceed 50 per cent of the permanent staff. If a company has not registered with the Ministry, it can still apply for mission visas if it procures a bank guarantee of Dh24,000; this is good for five visas.

A company that has offered me a job says I need to organise a "background check" with the police before they will formalise the offer. Is this a normal thing for an employer to ask for? How do I go about it, as I have never had to speak to the police here before? CB Dubai These checks are often required in respect to certain employments; it is essentially a "Good Conduct Certification Request", and is obtained relatively easily. You can do this at major police stations, where they will supply the forms. An appointment is not required, but you may have to wait in a queue for some time. The documents usually have to be translated into Arabic, but on a quiet day you may be lucky enough to find a police officer who will do this for you. Otherwise there is a small typing charge - usually around Dh25 - and you will have to organise this yourself, although there are small typing offices near most Government buildings. You will need to have your passport and be a UAE resident for at least six months for a certificate to be issued. Your fingerprints will be taken digitally. Two passport photographs are required, along with the fee of Dh110 for non-citizens, or Dh60 for UAE citizens. This can be paid by bank draft payable to "Dubai Police HQ" or in cash. You must wait seven days before a certificate is available for collection. More information can be found at www.dubaipolice.gov.ae.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at keren@holbornassets.com Letters can also be sent to onyourside@thenational.ae