New scheme for foreign workers

The UAE Cabinet has adopted a number of strategic decisions with regard to insurance in the private sector, in addition to a legislative package of visa facilitations.

As reported in WAM, A new insurance scheme for workers’ guarantees has been introduced. The previous mandatory deposit of AED3,000 per worker is now replaced by a new insurance that cost only AED60 annually per worker.

The scheme secures workers’ rights in the private sector and reduces the burdens on employers. It allows businesses to recover approximately AED14 billion, representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, which will enable them to further invest in the development of their business. The system also enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE, which effectively contributes to market prosperity and growth.

The new system aims to achieve a wider coverage of the rights and entitlements for the workers. The value of the insurance policy in the new system is AED60 per year for each worker and covers the workers’ entitlements in terms of end of service benefits, vacation allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, worker’s return ticket and cases of work injury, in which the insurance coverage amounts to AED 20,000 per worker.

The Cabinet has also adopted a number of visa facilitations for visitors, residents, families and people overstaying their visa to cater for a wider segment of the society. The Cabinet approved a new legislative package, including a review of the current residency system to allow a two-year extension of the residency period for the dependents of their parents after finishing their university studies.

A new decision has also been approved to exempt transit passengers from all entry fees for the first 48 hours. Transit visa can be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of only AED 50. Obtaining transit visa will be facilitated by several express counters at the passport-control hall across UAE airports.

In the same context, the Cabinet adopted a decision to grant people overstaying their visa a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a “no entry” passport stamp. A new 6-month visa will be introduced for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The temporary visa enhances the UAE’s position as a land of opportunities and a destination for talents and professionals.

As for individuals who entered the UAE illegally, they will have the chance to leave voluntarily with a “no entry” stamp for two years given that they provide a valid return ticket.

Equally, in a step aimed at simplifying the process and easing the financial burden on individuals wishing to adjust or renew their visa, they can now do so for a fee without having to leave and re-enter the country. On the other hand, the Cabinet adopted a resolution on empowering “People of Determination” and enabling them to access the job market. The resolution provides them with the necessary support to obtain equal employment opportunities in various sectors in line with the Government’s social development programs for all segments of the society.

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