Dubai: If you just landed a job with a company in the UAE, before you start making the move to becoming a UAE resident, there are some basic rights and legal responsibilities that you should be aware of.
From getting your documents in order to knowing the procedures you will need to complete, here are four things you should keep in mind.
1. Valid passport and visas
To legally enter the UAE, you must make sure your passport is valid for at least six months. One of the important things to keep in mind is that working with a company while you are still on a visit visa is illegal and can lead to three months in jail and a fine of up to Dh10,000. This is why having the right visa as well as the necessary work permit is extremely important.
As per the UAE’s labour law, Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, it is the employer’s responsibility to procure the work and residency permits. Article 6 of the law explicitly prohibits employer’s from collecting the cost of recruitment and employment from the workers.
2. Pass the health screening
Every foreign national above the age of 18 who is applying for a UAE residency must go through a medical fitness test. Applicants are tested for communicable diseases such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and TB (Tuberculosis).
There are also certain categories of workers that must test negative for syphilis and Hepatitis B. These include:
• Workers in nurseries
• Domestic workers including housemaids, nannies and drivers
• Food handlers and workers in restaurants and cafes
• Workers in saloons and beauty centres
• Workers in health clubs
Also, female domestic workers must test negative for pregnancy.
As per Cabinet Resolution passed in 2016, all resident expatriates while renewing their residence visas have to undergo TB screening. Those found with scars or active TB or found having drug-resistant TB will be issued a conditional fitness certificate and be issued residence visa for one year. They will then have to undergo treatment in the UAE.
3. Get your degrees and documents attested
Foreign workers who have a degree from outside the UAE, must follow these two steps to attest their documents:
1. Get the document attested by the UAE Embassy, Consulate, or Foreign Office in the country where the document is issued.
2. Get the document attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) in the UAE.
The UAE’s official government website – u.ae – also states that some jobs require the certificates to be equalised by the UAE's Ministry of Education (MOE).
In the UAE, foreign documents and certificates are attested online through the official website of MOFAIC - www.mofaic.gov.ae and the service costs Dh150.
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to attest your documents.
4. Know your rights and responsibilities as a worker
Foreigners entering the UAE workforce must be aware of their rights and duties as an employee. One of the most important rights for workers, according to u.ae, is the entitlement to possession of your passport. This means that an employer is not legally allowed to withhold your passport while you work in the UAE.
In February 2, 2022, a new labour law also came into effect in the UAE, which provides detailed guidelines on various aspects governing the relationship between employers and employees in the UAE’s private sector, including gratuity calculations, working hours and employer and employee rights.
For a comprehensive explainer about how the UAE’s labour law protects and supports the rights of employers and employees in the private sector, read our guide here.