‘Can my employer delay visa cancellation after I leave the company?’

The visa must be cancelled on the final day of the notice period and all money due should be paid in full

If an employer fails to cancel a visa, the employee should register a case with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
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I have finished serving my 30-day notice period with my employer, but the company is asking me to wait a further 18 days to cancel my visa.

However, I have another job offer and my new employer is not willing to wait longer for me to start work and apply for my employment visa. What can I do? IG, Abu Dhabi

When an employee has resigned and completed their notice period, it is the responsibility of the employer to cancel the work permit and residency visa.

Unless there is a prior agreement for this to be extended, this should happen on the final day of the notice period and all money due to the worker should also be paid in full. This is standard procedure.

The cancellation of a work visa should only take one or two working days. If an employer fails to cancel a visa, the employee should register a case with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. This can be by telephone on 800 60 or through its website, which has a helpful chat function.

The ministry will contact the employer to tell them to take immediate action. In most cases, this will be sufficient to resolve the problem.

The employer is acting contrary to government guidance, as well as inconveniencing IG, which is unprofessional and unfair.

I left the UAE and now live in the UK, where I have set up a small business. I have clients in the UAE and will be invoicing them for my services, but am confused about how this works for value-added tax.

I plan to register for VAT in the UK but how should I invoice my UAE clients when it comes to VAT? Should I do this at UK rates or UAE rates? SB, UK

The cancellation of a work visa should only take one or two working days
Keren Bobker, senior partner at Holborn Assets

VAT is a specialist subject, particularly when different countries are concerned, so I sought advice from Gemma Nye, manager of Dubai-based Go Figure Accountancy.

Ms Nye said: “Non-residents who make taxable supplies [a term for supplying goods and services on which VAT can be charged] in the UAE will be required to register for VAT unless there is any other UAE resident person who is responsible for accounting for VAT on their behalf. This exclusion may apply where the UAE client is VAT-registered and, therefore, required to account for VAT under a reverse-charge mechanism in respect of a purchase from a non-resident.”

A reverse-charge mechanism is one where the end-customer pays the tax directly to the government. The supplier does not have to pay VAT on import items or services, so the obligation of reporting a VAT transaction is shifted from the seller to the recipient.

“If a person is not registered for VAT in the UAE, they must not charge UAE VAT at 5 per cent when invoicing clients. To charge VAT, a person or entity must have a tax registration number from the Federal Tax Authority,” Ms Nye said.

“In relation to charging UK VAT, the application of UK VAT is determined on the ‘place of supply’. If the supply is in the UK, it is subject to UK VAT. If the supply is in another country, it is said to be ‘outside the scope’ of UK VAT.”

The situation can be different depending on whether the business is supplying a consumer, meaning a person or another business.

“The UK VAT Notice 741A section 6.3 says that the place of supply for a business-to-business supply is where the customer belongs. Section 6.2 states the general rule for business-to-consumer supplies of services is that the place of supply is where the supplier belongs, irrespective of the location of their customer,” Ms Nye said.

“It is important to read the full UK VAT notice outlining how you determine ‘place of supply’ as there are some exemptions dependent on your business activity.”

Cross-border taxation can be complex, so it is always best to obtain professional advice based on a specific situation.

I recently started a new job and my employer has applied for my visa and work permit. Before I started, it was agreed that I would be able to take unpaid leave after a few weeks for something that was booked some time ago.

However, I am concerned whether I will receive my passport back in time. How long does it usually take for a visa application to be completed? CC, Abu Dhabi

Once the application has been submitted to the ministry and the candidate takes the medical test, the process of issuing the visa should not take long.

In most cases, the time frame is seven to 10 working days, although a good public relations officer can usually fast-track an urgent application in a few days.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ experience. 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

Updated: January 30, 2022, 5:00 AM