UAE employer is responsible for costs of hiring an employee

The policy of the Ministry of Labour is that an employer is responsible for the costs of taking on an employee.

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I have been offered a job in Dubai, but the company has asked me to provide and pay for my visit visa, my flight and the Emirates Identity card. As I have to come on a visit visa, I will need to exit and re-enter the country with the residency visa when I get it, but I have to pay for this too. Is it legal for the company to ask me to come on a visit visa and provide all that? Also, is it legal that I work from the first day while on a tourist visa? They told me that after six months' probation I will be a permanent employee, but can I resign during the first six months or only after a full year? I am asking these questions as I don't have a contract, just an offer letter. SM, Serbia

The policy of the Ministry of Labour is that an employer is responsible for the costs of taking on an employee. The cost of a flight to get to the UAE is often paid by an employer, especially if a person will not arrive to receive a proper work-related visa from the outset. It is not uncommon for nationals of countries where tourist visas are available on arrival to enter on that basis and for an employer to sort out the full residency visa in the coming weeks and it is legal to work on two conditions: firstly the application for the residency visa should be made immediately after the employee starts work and secondly the process must be completed in less than 60 days. UAE Labour Law permits a maximum probation period of six months, so anyone employed for longer than this automatically becomes a permanent employee. If SM is on an unlimited contract then he may resign at any time, but doing so within one year would result in an employment ban in the UAE.

If we wish to leave our villa, how much notice do we need to provide our landlord? Is there a set notice period or does it vary from contract to contract? CV, Dubai

The notice period tends to vary. The law does not refer to any notice period in respect of terminating a lease early, only regarding notice to renew or to leave at the end of a contract. In the past few years landlords would include this clause, but with rents heading ever higher, even if there is no clause to this effect, many landlords will be amenable to a discussion about leaving early and possible refunds as they can relet the property for a higher sum.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years of experience. Contact her at 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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