Emirates ID and visa yet to arrive, and now I want to leave Dubai

Keren Bobker advises on whether any costs have to be repaid and if notice period has to be served.

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I came to Dubai on February 12 of this year and have been with my company for just over two months now. I completed my medical and the application for my Emirates ID card on April 1, but I have still not received my card or visa. However, I now have family problems back at home and am planning to resign. Do I need to pay the visa and Emirates ID costs that the company has incurred? And do I have to serve any notice period? My salary is Dh7,000 each month and the company deducts Dh750 every month for accommodation as I am staying in a company apartment. RP, Dubai

The law states that an employer is legally obliged to provide proper visas to employees within 60 days of the start of their employment. They must apply for the visa as soon as they start work and the process should be completed within 60 days, although it should take much less time than that. If someone is working without a visa, both the employee and employer could be fined.

Under UAE Labour Law it is quite clear that an employer is liable for all the costs associated with taking on an employee and it cannot ask an employee to cover these costs. The only exception is where an employee has agreed a fixed-term contract and wishes to resign before the end of the contract. Whether the cost of the accommodation should be repaid depends on the terms agreed with the employer.

While Article 37 of UAE Labour Law states that an employer can terminate the employee within the probationary period without any issues, the law is a little vague regarding what an employee may do. It does not specify that a worker can resign without notice, but nor does it say a worker cannot resign without notice, so unless a contract of employment states differently my advice is to assume that formal notice is required, with the standard period being 30 days.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

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