‘Can I travel out of the UAE without an Emirates ID?’

If a residency visa has been issued, there is no problem with leaving the country

It is a good idea to travel with a copy of the identity card application as evidence that an application has been submitted. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation
An embedded image that relates to this article

Question: I have a residency visa in the UAE, but I am still waiting for my Emirates ID card.

I would like to know if I can travel out of the country without the identity card. I have a family issue back home but have been told that the card could take another 10 days to be issued. My husband is sponsoring my visa. MB, Abu Dhabi

Answer: If a residency visa has been issued, there is no problem with leaving the UAE. The visa will be in the government system and will be seen at immigration.

It is a good idea to travel with a copy of the identity card application as evidence that an application has been submitted, but it is not essential to have the actual card in this situation.

MB will not be able to use the e-gates at the airport until the full residency process is complete, but there are plenty of staffed gates.

Note that if someone exits the UAE while a residency application is being processed, whether for the first time or for renewal, the process is stopped and cancelled, and must be restarted later.

Q: My wife is soon going to give birth to our second child. I know that I can take some time off work for this, but I would like to know whether it has to be just after the child arrives, or if I can take it at another time.

My mother-in-law is staying with us for three months, so it would be more useful if I could take the leave later.

Am I also allowed to add this extra leave to my annual leave? I want to be sure of what the law says before I ask my employer. SP, Dubai

A: SP works for a mainland employer, so the UAE labour law applies in full. Paternity leave for private company employees was introduced in the country in 2020 in Federal Decree Law No 6 for 2020 and was further clarified in the new UAE labour law from February 2022.

Article 32 (1b) states that a worker is entitled to paid leave in this situation: “A parental leave for a period of five working days, for the worker (either the father or mother), who has a newly born child, in order to take care of his child and the worker is entitled to such leave for a continuous or intermittent period, within six months from the date of the child’s birth.”

This means that paternal leave can be taken at any time in a six-month period after a child is born. Note that a copy of the birth certificate can be requested as proof.

All leave can be combined, as confirmed in Cabinet Resolution No 1 of 2022, which states: “Subject to the provisions of Article 32 of the Decree Law, the bereavement leave, parental leave, annual leave and unpaid leave may be combined."

In theory, this can be added to any annual leave that has accrued, although the law states that the employer can specify when annual leave is taken as per Article 29 of the law. “The employer may specify the dates of these leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker. The employer shall notify the worker of the specified date for his leave within a sufficient time of not less than a month.”

In this situation, you would hope that an employer would show some flexibility.

Q: I will be returning to the UK permanently later this year. I have an offshore bank account – will I have to close this account when I move to the UK?

Can I move the money later and will I be taxed on it when I am back in the UK? GR, Saudi Arabia

A: There is no legal issue in maintaining an offshore bank account when you are a UK resident for tax purposes, provided the appropriate declarations are made.

In due course, you will need to notify your bank of your new address so it is aware of your status and when it changes.

If you are a resident in the UK and move money from your offshore bank account to one in mainland UK, you should only be taxed on any interest that is being transferred.

For a UK bank account, interest is taxed on an annual basis, and is partly deducted at source depending on your tax bracket. But offshore banks operate a system of "gross roll-up" of interest.

This means tax is not deducted from the interest as it is added to your account.

If you transfer any interest earned offshore to the UK, this must be declared, just as you would declare income, and it then may be subject to UK income tax, depending on your total income and marginal tax rate.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.comor at www.financialuae.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: May 19, 2024, 5:00 AM