I lived in Ras Al Khaimah in 2009 while studying. Unfortunately, I failed my visa medical examination as I was diagnosed with hepatitis B. It has been five years now and I applied for a Dubai visit visa but was denied. I believe the denial is due to the medical issue I had the last time I was in UAE. Is there anything you can do to help me clear my name from the UAE blacklist? Or can you recommend a company that can assist in resolving cases like this? AO, South Africa
The rules and guidance as to how someone with Hepatitis B is treated have changed over the years but this is largely in respect of renewals. While anyone applying for a residency visa that is found to have hepatitis B will have the application rejected, those renewing a visa will no longer be deported with treatment and vaccinations being provided instead.
If someone applies for a visit visa and the system shows that they have previously been deported for an infectious disease, they will have their application declined as a matter of course. The only way that it might be reconsidered is if the applicant provides official certification from the relevant government authority, such as the National Department of Health in South Africa in this case, that demonstrates that proper treatment has been given and the individual is no longer infectious. I understand this would also need to be notarised in South Africa and again by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE. Only then can a new application be submitted with the certification but there are no guarantees that the application would be approved. Only the relevant ministries can provide any information and confirmation and personal information is not passed to third parties, so AO will need to make contact himself.
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Have there been changes on how employment bans are applied? I want to know if my company terminates me whether I will still be banned from working as I am on a limited contract. I do not want to leave so it would be unfair if I got a ban. Am I right that they also have to pay me extra if I am terminated now? SB, Abu Dhabi
The rules regarding bans can be confusing and subject to variation but the good news is that SB will not receive an employment ban if he is made redundant because he is on a limited contract. Once his notice period has expired he is free to start working for a new company with immediate effect. Where an employee is on a limited contract and the employer breaks it, then Article 11 of UAE Labour Law will apply and this states: "Should the employment contract be of a determined term, and the employer rescind same … he shall be bound to compensate the worker for the damage incurred thereto, provided that the compensation amount does not exceed in any case the total wage due for the period of three months or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract."
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I have a mortgage with the bank I have my salary transferred to. I was recently made redundant and in the process of looking for a new job. Hopefully I will find something in Dubai but if I can't I might have to return to my home country. I would like to keep my apartment and the mortgage as well. İs there a way to do this, or would the bank ask me to close the mortgage and therefore sell the apartment to close it? Can I show the rental income to the bank as a guarantee? I have a good bit of savings that could pay the installments for a year at least but I don't have enough to close the mortgage. MO, Dubai
A mortgage is not like having a personal loan or other debt as the bank has a first charge on the property, which stands as security. As such, they are more amenable to someone leaving the country, as in a worst-case scenario they can repossess a property. MO will need to notify the bank, and I suggest he checks the terms of his mortgage offer as this may make mention of the specific bank’s procedure in this scenario. The bank’s priority is that the mortgage is repaid and if rental income will cover the repayments there is unlikely to be an issue. After all, some banks will accept mortgage applications from people that are not resident in the UAE.
MO should contact his mortgage lender in good time and explain his intentions, demonstrating that he has the means to repay the mortgage on an ongoing basis. I would not expect him to have a problem in this scenario.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.