No more labor ban for UAE expat workers from January 2011

dubai expat labor ban

Expat workers in the UAE get three year employment contracts and visa. While some are happily working to finish, renew their contracts and go on working for the same company, there are expats who have left their jobs due to varying reasons such as poor working conditions, salary is different from what they are promised, terminated, etc. Residency here is tied to having a job so it’s already a burden not having a means to support yourself or your family, it’s worse when on top of that, you get a labor ban.

Labor/employment ban: is a six-month ban that prohibits an expat from being issued a new employment permit by his/her new employer. No employment permit = not allowed to work. The ban can be lifted by paying a hefty fee and transfer from one sponsorship to another. It also requires an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the previous employer. No NOC = no transfer of sponsorship = no work.

I thought that was a very backward scheme and deters the UAE from hiring qualified expats who are already here but have been automatically ‘banned’ by the Ministry of Labor. Good news is, that labor ban could be a thing of the past from January 2011.

Hani Al Hameli, Secretary-General of the Dubai Economic Council (DEC) said

The new law will enhance labour flexibility and hence sustain economic growth. The new rules permit a worker to move from one company to another. They also ensure the private sector has motivated and skilled workers which means more flexibility and breaking the deadlock in the market towards an innovative and productive environment.

Also, current expats subjected to the six-month ban can now be issued new work permits from January even if they have not served the full six months ban.

BUT, there’s no fresh policy change without the vagueness and confusion. As mentioned in one news article,

Sponsors cannot force employees to continue to work for them if the workers do not wish to do so. If workers have quit before the completion of two years then they will NOT be issued labour cards until the two-year period is over.

I am in the understanding that without a labour card, it is illegal to work here. So does the new policy on ban lift only mean that expats who want to stay here better serve for two years (before switching jobs) to be on the safe side? Expats who have not completed two years but wish to change their jobs right now are still waiting for clarity.

140 thoughts on “No more labor ban for UAE expat workers from January 2011

  1. need some help pls,
    i left sharjah u.a.e last october 2011, i have contract 3years, but i finish only 1 year so they told me i have ban 6 months, now
    i finish my 6 months ban already.. im planning to go this month in dubai because there is a job offer 4 me.. but they r asking 4 my cancellation copy, but i dont have it with me… my question is where i can get my cancellation copy??? plsssss reply soon to my message… thank u so much & may god bless u more…

    Like

    • Hi,
      Good Day!
      As i have been dealing this kinda issue on day to day basis in my Present company,I can suggest you that where ya can find your cancellation copy!

      When your previous visa was cancelled,you must have received a copy of it(UAE govt. Stampped paper) from your PRO or your company owner.If not,then kindly contact your previous company owner or PRO,because that cancellation paper is used to get back the bank guarantee amount from the bank,after the employee leaves the country.

      Thanks.

      Like

  2. hi good day madam,
    just want to ask i am in limited contract, i am working 3 years now in this company, and last may 7,2012 is last day of my labour visa, and my national ID will end on may 26, 2012,
    i dont want to renew my contract anymore i just want to go back home this may 15, they told me that they will give me a ban if i will not stay untill next month…what is my right? thank u so much

    Like

  3. Dear Friends,
    i am working with unlimited contract with the company, and almost finished one year, but willing to change the job, so whats the procedure and what kind of bans the ministry will put on me,
    please help me,

    Like

  4. ive been working 4 a company for almost 24 months and i i want to resign?.(i have 3 years contract) will i get any ban? can i change the company ?pls reply meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Like

    • see…uae laws in this aspect are uncertain….As per strict law if you have not finished 2 years, an automatic ban will be there for 6 months…..but as you have completed nearly 2 years chances are very low….moreover if ur existing company gives you noc…no issues at all….and if ur new job should be offering good salary also…if u r a graduate u should get minimum 12000 from ur new company….

      Like

  5. hi sir@ madam b4 i was working a foodstuff co. I had comlited my visa i m not sure it was lim or unlimited contract but 3 yrs compted, now i m working with onother food co. And almost 1 yrs coplited my last co.objecting me throw mol can i get prob about our new job or company pls reply me immedeitly bcos i need my current job thans with regard

    Like

  6. I have been working in abudhabi for 1year still continue but I want to serch other job in other company is it possible to come back with in 15 days to join that company
    please advise me

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  7. Hello Guys…

    I am Currently working in a firm in Abu dhabi for AED 3000 salary…. i have got a new job in Abu dhabi itself…and my new salary is 13000…But i have not completed 2 years in my existing company…..Now finished only 1 year 6 months..My company will not give me the noc…Will there be a 6 months ban for me….if so can it be lifted…

    Please please advise….

    Hello Guys…

    I am Currently working in a firm in Abu dhabi for AED 3900 salary…. i have got a new job in Abu dhabi itself…and my new salary is 13000…But i have not completed 2 years in my existing company..i have all my post graduate attested certificates with me…Now finished i ve only 1 year 6 months..My company will not give me the noc…Will there be a 6 months ban for me….if so can it be lifted…

    Please please advise….

    Like

  8. Hi my name is Aditya.I am working with a private sector company in Abudhabi on unlimited contract and finished 2.5 years with current company.My contract expires by August 2012.Presently I got offer from another company.I would like to know if there will be any ban if I resign from my current company.

    Like

  9. Hii Aditya, as you have already completed 2 years, no question of ban….You can easily jump after giving one month notice(as per your offer letter)……Here laws are uncertain…We cant predict exactly…However, Ban is applicable only for those who have not completed 2 years…..

    Like

  10. Dear Grace,
    Please help me.. My wife was working in a clinic for 3 months. She was in Husband’s visa. But they made a labor card / contract for 2 years. She got a new offer from another company. Now she resigned. We paid some money to the current company for their expenses. & they agreed to give NOC also. But in the labor cancellation form it mentioned that “a new labor car will not be issued for next 6 months”. Is this any problem.. The New company is ready to give employment visa. Is there any problem will come for the new visa & Labor card. Please give me aome suggestions. We are totaly tensed… Pls…

    Like

      • Hi ms. Grace, i forgot to asked last week my visa is newly renewed just last april, 2012 but because my current employer are leaving the country next week june 22 2012 and i didnt find anybody to transfer my visa so therefore they have to cancell it. When it is already cancelled can i still have the 28 days to stay in the country? bcoz im still trying to look other employer, or if not should i have a ban? bcoz its 2 yrs visa and just 2 months they cancelled ( just example ) pls reply… thx

        Like

      • Hi,
        According to the new MOL rules,if one person has served more than 2 years in the same company then he/she has no ban at all.However,when your visa cancellation would be done,the auto generated cancellation(Immigration) papers will show 6 months ban and 1 month grace period.However,you can switch new employer and when the new employer will apply your visa,that 6 months ban will be automatically nullified.

        Thanks

        Like

  11. Wow. I looked through all these questions to you about bans and dealing with them, losing jobs and not being able to work for another company… What worries me most is your employer holds your passport?

    All this concerns me as I make my decision to come to Dubai and work my butt off for a few years… I have put up with bad employers for as much as 5 years but nobody ever held that kind of controlling, slavery-type power over me. The numbers of people making these posts alarms me as well.

    I have many friends who have great qualifications but I do not know yet if I want to begin telling them about Dubai. Is it as scary as it looks here?

    Like

  12. just now i have joined a new company in UAE.now i am having another offer with better salary in UAE itself.is it possible to change the company without having any ban.

    Like

    • Hi Shameer,
      Your information is incomplete.Please let me know whether you been working in Free zone or mainland?

      Sorry for bugging you

      Thanks

      Like

  13. ive been working 4 a company for almost 24 months and i i want to resign?.(i have 3 years contract) will i get any ban? can i change the company ?pls reply meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Like

    • Hi,
      you have 3 years of work contract and as mentioned above you have already completed 2 years with your present employer.Now even if you resign,you dont have to face any labour ban.Because now there is no 3 years work contract and the new amendment came in Dec-2010 which abolished the 3 year contract system.

      Thanks.

      Like

  14. HI, I AM WORKING IN ONE COMPANY FROM 8 MONTHS BUT I FOUND THE COMPANY IS NOT GOOD AT ALL. SO I DECIDED TO RESIGN BY FINISHING ONE YEAR.I HAVE 2 YEARS OF CONTRACT WITH 6 MONTH PROBATION PERIOD.THERE IS BAN IF I WILL RESIGN AFTER COMPLETING ONE YEAR? PLEASE HELP ME.

    Like

  15. Hello,

    last 2005 sept. I entered dubai, and worked in abudhabi up to feb 2006..
    my lady employer, tried to hit me on my face and her finger nails touched my upper breast near my neck and got scratches
    I run to owwa abudhabi. And told them what happened.
    I decided to go home to phils. and the immigration stamped my passport 1 year ban to uae..
    somebody told me., if the airport immigration eye scanned me b4 my exit from uae. I will not allow forever going back to UAE..

    I want to apply again this time.

    Will the UAE government allow me to work again in UAE?
    its me Bet,(phils)

    Like

    • helo bet, do u have copy of ur labour card or emirates identity something? u should call 800665, this is the number ministry of labour, they can help u…hope this usefull information..

      Like

  16. Hello sir
    My name is prem kumar oli I am working with km retail llc br
    I have 3 years visa but I finish only 2 years and I want to change my job so I want to know I have ban or not.

    Like

  17. 800665. This is the number of ministry and labour, who has doubt about their contract, ban or anything, call them directly they can give u clear information, english, arabic and hindi languages are available, u have to give them your labour card number, hope this is helpful for my friends….

    Like

  18. Hi! I just want to know if there is a labor law that if your already 22 months in your company you can resign with benefits? what notification i need to do? thank you and have a nice day ahead.

    Like

  19. hey as per law available from sites it is strictly 2 years which u need to complete to avoid a ban….that is the strict sense of law….Not applicable always.. I ll tell you my case…i have completed 19 months and i expected a ban…But wallah no ban was imposed on me…i have joined my new company within 15 days of my cancellation…So proceed and good luck

    Like

  20. Hi there , i have been working in the same company for 7 years , now since i renew my visa in the some company is only 7 months i wanna know if i have ban in that case thank you….

    Like

  21. hi,i just want to ask it is possible if the company can go to the ministry of labour and file their own policy regarding for the rules of ban.or the ministry of labour will implement for all,the company instead.

    Like

  22. hiii i had compleatede 20 months in an llc i had left my job i m a post graduate i had got a six month ban and also got a job old employer is not giving me noc so how to lift this 6 month ban please help me out mr pro

    Like

  23. I am working in the a company from last 9 month my contract is limited for 2 years ,if i want to leave the company and want to join an other , what will happen
    i can change or not
    and if ban then how much ?
    please tell thanks

    Like

  24. Sir,
    Could you please help me for my querry.
    I have Abu dhabi visa and been working in the company from last 10 months.My wife is under my sponsership working in Dubai.
    Now I got a better offer in Dubai and I resigned from current company.My last day is 13th of september.
    My current company will cancel my labour card and visa. can I still hold my wife visa in immigration by paying AED5000 even after my current company cancel my visa.
    Plz help.
    jimmy

    Like

  25. Dear pro

    I’m a civil engineer in july I went to dubai to search for a job and got a offer letter from a company and then they told me to exist as I was on a visit visa I also provided them with all my documents required for visa application but now I’m not getting proper feed back from the employer regarding my visa status last time I called they told me that there’s a problem with company trade liscene that’s why visa is in pending now its been over a month now since I left dubai please reply what should I do

    Like

  26. i m ruwais, presently i m working in a computer shop in sharjah.
    it is a two years of visa and now 18 months finished. now this time we r moving very slowly there r no business in the shop, so my boss decide to close the shop and he will proving me a noc for anther job, at the time i got the job but they r telling to me i have ban. how i have ban? i have a noc know.

    Like

  27. Dear Ms. Grace,
    I worked in a company for 4 years.I finished the first contract (3 yrs), but for the 2nd contract I only finished 11 months. I resigned because of my health problem.Do I have a ban from MOL? Can I still apply in free zone even if I have a ban? Please help me.

    Like

  28. Have a good day

    my name is megie and am workinn in hospitality and i compliet 3 years already and i renew my visa before 3 month and i got other job now and i want cancel my visa. my qeustion is
    1. if i cancel my visa still ty ll ban me or not
    2. my new employer is privet company and if ty apply my visa ll come out? cuz am from ethiopian and there is some issue about visa

    Like

  29. Hi to everyone!!!
    I am a filipina nanny working with an Egyptian family,i came here in Abudhabi last May 4,2012..but i found out that i am not happy with them..i want to search or apply for a new job not as a nanny but to a clerical works..i am planning to tell this matter to my present employer before 1yr. since the visa is a yearly basis but the contract is 2yrs..is this possible for me?pls give me some advice on what should i do..thanks and more power..

    Like

  30. hi, i resigned in my previous employer, i worked there for only 4months,.i resigned because of their contract violation, my previous company was government so i dont have a ban right? then i have my new employer my visa was on going process but now i have new offer letter from new company, i want this new company coz the salary is good. do i have a ban? im not starting at work yet.. do i have a ban? pls answer me..my visa is cancelled..

    Like

  31. Hi to everyone i have problem i join for my previous company for 2 months only because my salary is not enough to support my family so he cancel my visa.Do i have a band? And now i have new company its good for me but until now my offer letter is not ready and i have a overstay already. I need your help regarding this matter,what im gonna do. thnks.

    Like

    • Sorry to say but I believe you have an automatic ban. Unless your new company is based on a free zone (Jebel Ali, DAFZA or Media/Internet City), they cannot sponsor you an employment visa.

      Add to that you mentioned that you have overstayed already…you need to exit the UAE or else pay fines.

      Like

  32. i am in probation period.
    joined two months back.
    i have masters degree.
    my basic salary is AED 10 K and total salary is 35000+ house.
    will there be a ban on resignation without notice during probation period if the employer wants.

    Like

  33. i am a maid here in dubai, before my sponsor is the head of the family (sir), after 3months they devorce. but i continued working for the family (madam and kids), after my visa expired, my madam applied for my visa, and i read that the contract is two years, but my visa is 1yr ,it will expire on dec. 8 2012, and i dont want to stay with them anymore, i find a job, they want to take me back from the philippines. i ask my madam to send me back home since i stayed here for more than 2 yrs, but 1yr visa from si, 1yr visa from madam. now my question is, DO I HAVE A BAN? because the new employer told me to go home for vacation since i did’t see my family for more than 2 yrs. and she wants me back here in february. PLEASE HELP ME.

    Like

  34. Dear,sir
    Salamwalekum.
    I’am from Nepal ,Before 9 month ago i came in UAE For working as cashier in supermarket. But when i came here my job is cleaner. they laying me.
    I don’t like this work but i did that because that is my problem. Now i get 700 salary for 12 hour duty.no food no allowance no overtime but every day we work from 5:30 am to 6:00 pm . Now my 9th month is going on . Now i get some good jobs in dubai so i want to change company . I don’t know about UAE law and band . How can to change company and when to can change . Plz give me sugisition . I wait your advise .
    And email me

    rkhadka34@gmail.com

    Like

  35. my company terminated me after completing my probation period and now I have a normal ban from labour and its written there no entry till june 23 2013.i just want to check if I can still apply in DMCC freezone area? tnx

    Like

    • Hi my name is sodiQ akande. I stay long in dubai without visa but police catch me and depot me am use 3year in my country now but I won’t to come back for employer visa it is possible or not. Because I think is life band. Please reply me to my email

      Like

  36. hi,
    im a skilled worker cut and sew(dressmaker) but my visa is housemaid for 2 yrs…im now 7 months working here.. i want to leave my work now bcoz salary is low. but im afraid and dont know how to do it.. is it possible to transfer in other work? i heard about the labour banned, i dont want to hve that.for all the concern plz answer me…

    Like

  37. i have finished my contract(visa stamp in my passport) last february 19 2013, but just now (march 14 2013)they cancelled my visa… how many days should i stay here using my grace period? is my grace period will start after the cancellation of my visa or after i finished my contract(visa stamp in my passport)? please let me know… thanks

    Like

  38. sir i have a joined a company in alain as sales representative a week back. i have not yet finished my medical check up. the company i work for has created a contract paper which said that if i leave the job before i finish my contract then i have to pay 10000 dhms as its visa and other charges. and i would not be able to work in any other similar type of company for another 2 yrs and i have signed on it. now my question is there any rule in labour law that i have to pay the money if i leave within 6 months or within 2 yrs. is this paper valid. and whether they can only ban me from working in same type of company. can i work in some other position in another company.

    Like

  39. i have a problem about my new job actually i finsihed here 4years 6months same company know i get better job so let me know i get the any labour ban or not

    Like

  40. I was worker in super market since 2006 janury to 2011may,i make my emirates id as well,i came my country on vaccation but my visa have still reamining 7 month to finished.i came my contry on vaccation then i didn’t get back dubai.so that’s why i would like to ask that ban for me will be how long it will be.

    Like

  41. Hello, I am just new in Dubai and I want to ask some advice from everybody who has more working experience and know UAE labour laws. I am connected with my current and first company for 4 months now, I am not happy anymore with them because they didn’t follow our first agreement on the commission and salary that first they offered. I want to resign from this company but I have a limited contract. Can anyone help me please on how can I legally resign and apply for a new employer? Thank you.

    Like

  42. R/SIR /MADEM
    I am working with a contracting company as a site engineer. my employer gave me a lobour (painting worker) visa and offered a salary of worker (2000 only) but he wrote site engineer in my contract. he forces me to work for more than 11 hours daily with no over time. also he is not giving my salary on time. he also compels me to live with labours in a dirty camp. please tell me is there any way out to change my employer with out having ban as i am under two years limited contract category!! i have already got salary offer of 12k

    Like

  43. Dear sir,
    I worked in the Company for 5 years now- just renewed my contract..dO I have a ban if I will not finished my third contract. and do I have to pay for the company?

    Like

  44. i engr. asim ali work with a contracting company as a civil engineer but my employer gave me a foreman role just to stay on site and force labor to do more work, not one that fit i actually applied for. i have been sponsored to al anamel al tahabia bldg cont co llc company having a trading licence of Sharjah, UAE but since march 2015 they put me with Armada bldg cont co llc, Ajman and that is a complete risk just for me to work with another company without any proper sponsorship. from the beginning i am forced to work without over time and have provided no medical insurance and no company accommodation.
    i have also been forced to live with labors in rest time too and without provision any shelter or office.
    recently in the month of October when they late our September salary then i did a strike along with all labors for two days and our demand was to provide a salary(because we have to pay our room rent expenditure, food expenditure and we have our family to whom we send money for their needs).
    after the two days strike they put salary of all labors in bank but not mine and called me in office they first took my Sharjah municipality card and then they took my all driving file documents that were ready for submission and finally told me to leave this country without cancellation and from October 17th you are been terminated and you should go to your country as we will not provide any salary in future you go to your own country and come back after the completion period of your visa we will then cancel you.

    now what i do sir, i really need your help.
    thank you!

    Like

  45. Hi I wanna’ ask what is the difference between “HOUSE WIFE” profession ( Sharjah Resident) and “HOUSEWIFE/Not Allowed To Work” profession (Dubai Resident) both are on husband visa.

    Like

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