Old UAE debts cause complications when taking a job

If no payments have been made for several years and a debtor has made no contact with the various banks, there is a good chance police cases are registered against them.

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I live in Thailand but worked in Dubai from 2005 to 2008. I left Dubai with an exit permit because my new employer in Abu Dhabi sent me to the Philippines to change my sponsorship. Unfortunately, I received a ban because the authorities caught some staff working on visit visas. I was then stuck in the Philippines, my home country, on a low salary so I couldn't afford to repay my UAE credit cards. I have a potential employer in Dubai and they asked me to contact the banks directly for them to confirm that they are clear to hire me. I would like to know if I can still come to work in Dubai. Is there is a possibility that I would be sent to jail if I enter with a job offer? I am sorry about the debts but there was nothing I could do about them outside the UAE. RV, Bangkok

It appears that RV left the UAE with three outstanding credit card balances and a personal loan. If no payments have been made for several years and there has been no contact with the various banks there is a good chance there are police cases registered against him. This would result in arrest on arrival in the UAE, even with a valid offer of employment. To find out if there are any cases registered against him, RV should not only contact the banks for confirmation but can also ask a friend in Dubai to check with the police. The friend needs a copy of RV’s passport (and the one valid when he was resident in Dubai if different) and should go to a main police station to find out if there are any cases registered. No details will be disclosed but the police will confirm either way at no cost. Until any cases against him are lifted – something that usually follows repayment of the debt – RV will not be able to return to the UAE without problems.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 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.

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