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Visa bans for MA's - what's the story?

 
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abudhabi



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 10:33 am    Post subject: Visa bans for MA's - what's the story? Reply with quote

There have been a few articles in the media about new regulations covering people with MA's changing jobs. Before, MA holders were exempt from the ban and it was easy enough to have your residence visa transferred from the old sponsor to the new one. But now some suggest that anyone changing jobs could be subject to a 6 month or 1 year ban at the discretion of the Min of Interior. It seems as if you want to move from one institution to another now, you have to first of all get your residence visa from your current sponsor cancelled, hope you don't get a 6 month ban, and wait a month before you can get the new residence visa from your new sponsor. A bit risky isn't it?('Confused')
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4sure



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Visa bans for MA's - what's the story? Reply with quote

Very Happy

Last edited by 4sure on Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from the Gulf News 1st May 2004.



Employment Woes: Ministry does away with exempted categories
| By A Staff Reporter | 01/05/2004 | Print this page


Workers to be allowed to jump from private to public sectors

Cabinet Decision No. 30 of 2001 lists the job categories in which the transfer of visas is permitted. The job classification is included in the guide attached to the executive regulations governing sponsorship transfer.

Nine categories are exempt from the six-month ban when sponsorship is transferred or changed.

Husband's sponsorship

The only condition is that those who wish to transfer must have worked for their first sponsor for at least a year and that sponsor has issued a no objection certificate.
The ban has been employed like a revolving gate.

The new rule adopted by the interior ministry eliminated the exemptions given to certain job categories, except those transferring from the private to the government sector.

Now only those on their husband's sponsorship or who are transferring from the government to the private sector can transfer their sponsorship without incurring the ban as can those holding masters or doctorate degrees.

Upon the implementation of the new rules, the exemptions for doctors, engineers, accountants, journalists, translators and others with university degrees who were previously allowed to transfer sponsorships without the six-month ban were effectively scrapped.
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abudhabi



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Afra -

I had already read it, and reread it and couldn't make much sense out of it. It starts by saying "Nine categories are exempt from the six-month ban when sponsorship is transferred or changed." Note it states are and not were. It then states:
"Upon the implementation of the new rules, the exemptions for doctors, engineers, accountants, journalists, translators and others with university degrees who were previously allowed to transfer sponsorships without the six-month ban were effectively scrapped."

So teachers are subject to the 6 month ban, huh?

In the very same newspaper on the same day, there is this story:

"Waiting period to halt rampant visa changes
Abu Dhabi | By Shireena Al Nowais, Staff Reporter | 01/05/2004 |

....
Referring to the six month ban on re-entering the country after the cancellation of a resident or employment visa, the immigration chief said a certain number of categories have been exempted from this ban.

The official said the exemption was necessary for certain categories for the country's economy and labour market. "The country cannot afford to lose skilled workers who have been trained here according to the local environment. Losing them would cause a setback in the labour market."

Can't get much more contradictory than this.

And a further positive spin is from the Kaleej Times:

No 6-month ban if expatriates have skills, experience
By: Muawia E. Ibrahim (Khaleej Times: 4/25/2004)

ABU DHABI - Expatriates with good skills and experience will not get a six-month ban upon cancellation of their employment visas.

According to a top official at the Ministry of Interior, the authorities are considering exempting all experienced expatriates who are needed in the labour market from being banned from re-entering the country after they cancel their original sponsorship.

"We have studied the drawbacks of the ban and its adverse effects on the labour market. We have concluded that skilled and experienced workers should be exempted from the ban as long as they can serve the country with some other organisation," Brigadier Hadhir Khalaf Al Muhairi, Director-General of the General Directorate of Naturalisation and Residence, told Khaleej Times.

As per the rule introduced three years ago, those who get their visas cancelled and a ban stamped on their passport are not issued a fresh entry visa or permit to re-enter the country unless they complete the six month period. Housemaids and those in the category are issued a one-year ban instead of six months.

Brig. Muhairi said a study prepared by the directorate specified the drawbacks of the implementation of the ban. The study, which included several suggestions for exemption from the ban will be submitted by the ministry to the federal Cabinet for appropriate action and will be implemented once approved.

The suggestions include exempting the categories already exempt in visa sponsorship transfer. Exempt categories include doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, heavy vehicle and bus drivers, computer technicians and some other skilled professionals.

"These categories will be exempted. They can cancel their visas and will not be banned from re-entering the country as they represent experienced and specialised working categories which the country will lose," the officials said.

The decision to ban the employee will not be left to the sponsor's discretion, as is the case at present. "We are coming up with new conditions under which a sponsor can request a ban for his employee and this will be based on one principle - the employee will not join a competitor or cause any damage to the company he is leaving."

Brig. Muhairi said the exemption would be implemented according to a set of regulations which are aimed at preventing manipulation by some expatriates who may use it to stay for longer periods and shift to as many jobs as they wish.



So teachers are still exempt, and will continue to be? Dunno ...
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nowasta



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
Posts: 74
Location: uranus

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know what to make of those articles as my "jibberish"is not really up to snuff these days. I do know that MLI admin are telling people who wish to leave that they do so at their own risk and could be subject to a ban by immigration. Things that make you go hmmmmm indeed!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15865
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goodness me,

I had forgotten the joy of trying to interpret the articles in KT and GN. Smile

But, after careful reading, one article specifically said that teachers were exempt and the first article said "can transfer their sponsorship without incurring the ban as can those holding masters or doctorate degrees."

So, it looks like the worst case scenario is that teachers with only a BA and cert may have the ban.

As with all this things we won't really know until people try it. So, who wants to volunteer??

VS
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, like many other rules and regulations that appear overnight, this one will also be ignored by the authorities. I'm still waiting to see the law banning children sitting on drivers' laps enforced!
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nowasta



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
Posts: 74
Location: uranus

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or how about the beautification one that was recently passed which forbids people from hanging their laundry out on their balcony. Laughing
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15865
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not a new one. That ban has been in effect since 1990, if not before - at least in Abu Dhabi.

VS
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 3:26 pm    Post subject: visa bans for MA Reply with quote

Has anyone seen any more in the papers about this? I've been looking but haven't seen anything.
Curious about message that MLI says people might get banned by immigration - why just MLI? Surely that would mean everyone anywhere who is moving could get banned? Is it just a scare tactic - or is it real? I thought MLI had given letters of no objection to people, so what's the deal?
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nrandserial



Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to be a non-jibberish bit of journalism - perhaps it is because it is by a lawyer rather than a journalist: From the Gulf News of 21 May 2004:

Quote:
Gulf News file Readers queries are answered by Dr Mohammed Khalifa Al Mualla of International Legal Consultancy

Question:
Changing jobs, Phoenix, Sharjah asks:
My residence visa is sponsored by a free zone, and am employed by a limited liability company (LLC). At present, I am planning to resign and move to another company also in Dubai Internet City. Does this mean that my present employer cannot cancel my visa? I have also sponsored a residence visa for my wife and my daughter. If I change jobs, do I need to cancel their visas too, and apply for a new one?

Answer:
If your current employer is willing to give you a no-objection certificate to change your present job and if you fulfil all other conditions with regards to the transfer of your sponsorship such as serving a minimum of one year with your present employer and you are in the exempt category, then you will not face any obstacles as far changing the jobs are concerned.

Your wife's and daughter's visa need not be cancelled.

If your visa is cancelled, however, all your dependants' visas will also be cancelled.


Seems that yes, there are exempt categories, and yes, a no-objection certificate is still needed, and getting a ban if you fulfill the requirements is unlikely.
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menace2society32



Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 11:56 am    Post subject: So can we get a verdict which is.... Reply with quote

simple and not followed by a long list of answers that don't necessarily pertain to English teachers? I guess I made a major mistake. I told my present employer that I would not be returning. I had thought that I would be free to change jobs next fall, since I will have fully completed my contract. I have a Master of Science in Education. So I guess by reading the previous responses, I can assume that if and when I try to reenter in August, I will not be allowed in the country? It seems to me that if and when I am hired by another employer they will simply reissue another work visa. But I guess that is not the case. I knew if you didn't complete a contract you were subject to a ban, but I thought if you completed your contract, you were free to move on. A previous reply implied that you can avoid all of this hassle by simply informing your present employer that you will return. But won't you simply encounter the same problem after returning and not showing up for work (when you have decided to report to work for your new employer)? Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. Anyone who has valid info should not hesitate to contribute to this thread as many of us in the UAE will be affected by this problem in the near-future. I welcome any PM's also. Thank you.
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menace2society32



Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 9:11 am    Post subject: It just can't be. Reply with quote

I simply cannot believe under any circumstances an English teacher having to leave the country simply because they choose to find another job after they HAVE COMPLETED a renewable contract. That is simply unheard of. All you do is tell the employer that you will not return due to personal reasons. Your visa will be removed and you future employer will have another visa issued. Your contract was completed. You only agreed to work for one year. You completed your obligation. Now let's look at it this way people. I am sure we all know many teachers in the U.A.E. who have been here for years. Have all of these teachers mentioned leaving for 6 months or a year because they wanted to find another job after COMPLETING their contract? Of course not. Or has EVERY teacher who has been here for years and not been banned remained employed for the same company the entire period of time? Of couse not. Don't mean to offend anyone, but this has got to be one of the craziest things I have heard applying to a renewable contract. Maybe jobs that don't have contract periods, but employment where you only agree to work for a specified amount of time.....UNHEARD OF. Not only that, but also why would UAE employers even bother to interview candidates NOW, who are already employed in the UAE if that was indeed the case?
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: It just can't be. Reply with quote

menace2society32 wrote:
I simply cannot believe under any circumstances an English teacher having to leave the country simply because they choose to find another job after they HAVE COMPLETED a renewable contract.


I don't know anything about this particular situation, Mr. 2society32, but I do believe I detect a certain love of logic in your posts that may be misplaced. My experience suggests that these imperial rulings may be made for the most whimsical of reasons. For instance, perhaps an official at the Ministry of This or That just felt there were too many visa requests coming through and set out to squelch the volume. And perhaps the people who are hiring don't yet know or understand what the rulings are or what they imply. I'd suggest that you not try to rely on common sense to sort through this kind of issue, and don't rely on other people's (such as newspaper reporters') interpretations, either. Just look at what other people's actual experience has been, and go directly to the source if you want to know what the law says. And if it looks as though things are stacked against you, don't despair. Sometimes a little wheedling and pleading works wonders.

BD


Last edited by Bindair Dundat on Thu May 27, 2004 9:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Menace,
Places in the UAE won't usually interview you if they don't have achance of hiring you. So, if you have been interviewed and accepted for a post, you are probably OK re bans. There are non-poaching agreements between some of the Higher Ed institutions, but again, an employer won't interview you if they don't think they can hire you. So, if you have been interviewed and hired and etc, you are probably OK.
All of this seems to be based on that nonsensical news article posted above. For what it's worth, I know people who have checked out the info in the news article and there don't seem to be any new laws about moving from job to job - so whatever is going on elsewhere (i.e., MLI as mentioned somewhere where i am going to check in a sec and post) probably doen't affect you (unless you are at MLI and moving). Ask some old hands at your current post and see if anyone has ever been banned there. So long as you cancel your first visa and come in on a new one am sure you're Ok - unless you are at MLI where things seem to be totally weird.
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