x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Red tape of birth registration and workers' rights

My new employer is providing me with a visa and paying me a reduced salary during training, but I would have to pay back the full cost of the visa and work permit costs if I left the job before two years. Is this normal?

My new employer is providing me with a visa and paying me a reduced salary during training, but I would have to pay back the full cost of the visa and work permit costs if I left the job before two years. At Dh6,000, this seems a lot of money, especially as the pay is not great. I am also not being offered medical cover or a housing allowance. Is this normal? TB Dubai It's illegal for employers to have their employees pay for their own residency visas and work permits, and thus illegal to deduct monies from your wages to pay for this. In addition, the amount mentioned exceeds the cost of arranging the visa. There is no requirement for a Dubai employer to provide medical insurance (although anyone on an Abu Dhabi visa must be given this) or any contribution towards housing.

My new boss has told me he does not like working with me and I must go. I was given a letter of redundancy but the company immediately filled my job with a new person. The firm is part of an EU company. Could I contest this in court, possibly in Europe? I have been working in a free zone for three years and my contract states that two months' notice is required. TW Dubai If you are given notice in accordance with the terms of your contract and paid in full, either by working your notice or as payment in lieu, and receive any end of service gratuity due, you do not have the right to take any further action. As you are on an unlimited contract your employer may terminate this arrangement at any time, provided the provisions of the employment contract are met. As you are on a local contract, UAE law applies.

I shall be giving birth in Dubai in a few months. My husband and I have been given different accounts over how to obtain the birth certificate. Can you help? Also, how do we get a passport? TW Dubai The hospital in which your baby is delivered will issue a "notification of birth certificate" in Arabic and send the original to the Ministry of Health. All expatriates must get both the Arabic and English certificate attested by the Ministry of Health office at Al Baraha Hospital (also known as the old Kuwait Hospital, 04 271 0000) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It's then necessary for the father to personally visit the Department of Preventative Medicine with a number of documents, such as a white copy of the Birth Notification, original passports for both parents, copies of these passports, a copy of the attested marriage certificate and the discharge summary for the mother and child. These are the documents required for you as non-GCC nationals. It's also possible for the Public Records Office to act for the father, but this process should occur within 14 days of the birth. Some public hospitals, such as Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital and Al Wasl Hospital, will issue the Arabic birth certificate.

To procure a birth certificate in English, you must visit the Preventive Medicine Department at Al Baraha Hospital and get an application form from the Birth Certificate Office. A translator there will type your application and you can get it attested at the Ministry of Health counter at that hospital. You must then take both birth certificates to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be attested. The translation of an Arabic birth certificate costs Dh50, and the translation fee, Dh15. An attestation fee with the Ministry of Health will cost Dh20, while the attestation fee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs costs Dh150.

You may employ a company to undertake all of this for you. Medi Express (04 272 7772) at Al Baraha Hospital can handle all translations and attestations for an additional fee of about Dh130. You will also need to contact your consulate in Dubai to confirm its requirements for arranging a passport for the baby, although usually you must present an application form, the birth certificate, photographs and a passport for at least one parent. Once the child has a passport, you can then apply for his or her residency visa, and must do so within 120 days of the child's birth. To receive the visa, you will need the original passport, the original birth certificate and a copy, (attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs), three passport photos of the baby, original and copy of parents' attested marriage certificate, a copy of the sponsor's passport (usually the father) and a copy of the sponsor's employment contract. You must then go to a certified typing office and have the form completed. You must then go the residency section of the Naturalisation & Residency Department and present the documents. Once processed, the passport with the residency visa will be sent to you by courier. You will pay Dh115 for the residency visa, and a further Dh100 per year for its renewal. I will discuss the procedure in Abu Dhabi in a future issue.

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