What is the change? The Immigration and Labor Ministries have begun making unscheduled on-site visits to companies in Dubai.

What does the change mean? Companies located in Dubai mainland and the free zones should prepare for unannounced visits by authorities and make documents available for inspection.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, labor cards, Emirates IDs, Free Zone IDs.
  • Who is affected: Companies operating in Dubai mainland and in the free zones.
  • Business impact: Employers should review internal procedures to make sure their documents are in order.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees and assignees should carry their Emirates ID and Free Zone ID or labor cards with them at all times.

Background: Companies that are visited by immigration or labor officers will be asked that their employees show their Emirates ID and Free Zone ID cards or labor cards, depending on whether they are operating in a free zone or the mainland.

Earlier this year, authorities signaled that they would conduct stronger monitoring, including on-site inspections. Dubai’s TECOM free zone began collecting data of all foreign employees in May, and UAE authorities, particularly in Dubai, increased audits in June.

BAL Analysis: The on-site visits are part of a move toward greater scrutiny and enforcement of labor and immigration regulations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the United Arab Emirates. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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