Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, together with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation have started taking necessary arrangements to enable workers to sign job offers back home through Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation service centres to issue entry work visas.

This came during a meeting attended by Saqr Ghobash Saaed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, to review mechanisms of the offshore service centres in issuing work visas. The meeting was held recently held at the Ministry of Human Resources in Abu Dhabi.

Ghobash suggested that establishing such centres guarantees offering quality services to customers, as well as following the directives of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ghobash stressed the importance of starting such projects, to be able to recruit workers in UAE’s private sector following the worker’s complete understanding of his job offer and the attached annexes, which highlight rights, duties and terms and conditions of employment.

“Such cooperation and partnership between both ministries ensures a transparent contractual relation between employers and workers which prevents any attempt to replace any job offers upon the arrival of the worker to the UAE,” Ghobash said.

Ahmad Saeed Al Daheri, Assistant Undersecretary for Consular Affairs at the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry, said, “The ministry shall open visa issuing centres according to a plan based on three phases. The first phase includes the opening of four centres in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kenya and Bangladesh.”

“The second phase, which will be completed this year, will include the opening of 10 other centres — four centres in India and the others in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Senegal and Nigeria. The third phase shall commence during the current and the next year by opening three other centres in India, and three in Pakistan, in addition to two others in Egypt and Nigeria,” Al Daheri said.

Visa issuing centres, Al Daheri said, shall provide administrative services associated with the issuance of entry permits to the UAE, which include services such as validating entry documents, medical examinations, and fingerprinting.

“Such centres will reduce fraud or identity theft cases by verifying the attendee via the passport, in addition to reducing the spread of infectious diseases in the UAE, avoiding deportation and medical quarantine costs post the medical examinations which could be done at these centres. They will also prevent the arrival of foreigners that have already been sentenced to deportation and finally confirm the identity of the person arriving in the UAE through a clear high-quality facial image and an eye-scan done at the centre.”

He added, “The project helps contribute to improving the level of customer services through its ability in alleviating overcrowding, reducing the time needed to process applications and enhancing connectivity with smart electronic gates at all ports of entry, plus providing an electronic copy of the employment contract to the workers which shall be signed before visiting the centre and before reaching the UAE for work.”

Employers are required to submit a detailed job offer prior to recruiting the workers which contains a comprehensive description of the rights and duties of each side towards each other and in a language they can understand.

The ministry also obliges the employer to attach the job offer with the work permit application after signing it from both ends, then the labour contract shall be extracted from the ministry’s database when the worker arrives to the UAE, which shall be signed by both parties to officially register the case at the ministry and issue the legal work contract which shall not be modified unless both agree to doing so before the ministry and without affecting the workers’ rights.