Swiss Business Council Dubai & Northern Emirates

Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) simplifies visa extension rules for women, students and visitors to extent period of stay in the UAE

The UAE will begin implementing new visa rules for students, visitors, widows and divorcees from Sunday, October 21, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has confirmed.

Widows and Divorced Women
Under the rules, the residency visa for widows and divorced women and their children will be extended for a year without a sponsor starting from the date of the death of the husband or the date of the divorce. The residence visas of widows, divorcees and their dependents will be subject to a set of conditions, mainly that they are sponsored by the deceased or the ex-husband at the time of death or divorce, their visas are valid at the time of death or divorce, and that dependents don’t overstay their mother’s visa.

Residency visas of students sponsored by their parents will also be renewed for a year after they complete their university or high school or on reaching the age of 18. This will further be renewable for another 12 months.

Visitors and Tourists
Meanwhile, those on visit or tourist visas will be granted an extension of up to 60 days (30-day visa extension twice) without having to leave the country. However, expatriates living in the GCC and those accompanying citizens of Gulf countries do not qualify.

UAE’s low cost hiring insurance system for employees to take effect this month

Private companies in the UAE will soon be able to opt for a Dh60 insurance scheme to recruit workers instead of depositing Dh3,000 per worker as bank guarantee, the current practice. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) will start implementing the low-cost insurance scheme from mid-October.

MOHRE will start refunding bank guarantees (Dh3,000 per worker) to employers, replacing it with a new insurance policy. At a costs of Dh60 per annum per worker, the system will offer a coverage of Dh20,000 per worker and include end-of-service benefits, vacation allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, worker’s return ticket, and cases of work injury.

For domestic workers, the coverage will include the cost of replacing the worker in cases of interruption of work, health inefficiencies, or the domestic worker’s desire to cancel the work relationship, in addition to unpaid wages and end of service benefits, vacation allowance and overtime allowance if not paid by the employer, a return ticket to his/her country as well as work injury cases.

Establishments registered with the ministry will have two options:

  • Submit Dh3,000 bank guarantee on behalf of the employee, as per the rules and regulations of the current bank guarantee system.
  • Buy insurance that can be issued immediately when typing the work permit application at Tasheel or other establishments that can complete their own applications using the Tasheel e-service.

Safety net
The new insurance scheme will stimulate cash flow for businesses. The Dh20,000 coverage will serve as a safety net for employees in case they do not receive their salaries on time or their employer go bankrupt.
Information provided by Swiss Business Council member M/HQ