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Dubai: More companies are applying for temporary work permits to reduce the cost of employing workers, said a top Ministry of Labour official.

The official said the ministry issued 11,000 temporary work permits to various companies across the country last year.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said the temporary permit allows establishments to hire workers who are not on the company’s sponsorship. This may be to complete a temporary work project or a project for a period of no more than 90 days, renewable for a similar period on a one-off basis. This means that a temporary work permit can be valid for six months.

“This service, which was implemented in 2011, is giving more flexibility to the labour market in the UAE and is helping companies hire workers who are already available in the market, especially qualified workers. The service allows companies to employ workers who are already working here without the need to bring them from abroad and that reduces the expense of employing workers,” he said.

Al Suwaidi said temporary work permits cost only Dh500 for a year. He said such permits can also help workers who are already working here to boost their monthly income by working for two or more companies at the same time.

He said they can be issued to workers under 65 who are registered with the ministry and hold valid labour cards.

He added that it is also open for those who are not registered with the ministry including government workers, students who are 18, women on their family member’s sponsorship, including parents, husbands, sons and daughters who hold valid UAE residency visas.

“This category needs the approval of the Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs departments,” he said.

A temporary work card should be cancelled within a maximum period of 30 days from the date of the card’s expiry date. In case of delay, however, the establishment has to pay Dh500 for each 10 days that follow the lapse of 30 days from the expiry date.