What is the change? The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority’s internal system for processing visa transfers is undergoing maintenance, causing delays of two to four weeks for foreign employees seeking such transfers.

What does the change mean? The delays follow a move by DCCA in November to increase documentation requirements for visa transfer applicants, including a new requirement that applicants provide an undertaking letter from their new sponsor when applying to change their visa. On the whole, it may be easier at this time for those switching employees within DCCA to cancel their visa and apply for a new one in order to avoid transfer delays. BAL can assist on a case-by-case basis.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Employees transfering from one company to another within DCCA.  
  • Impact on processing times: Employers should anticipate processing delays and more administraive requirements.
  • Business impact: Companies hiring employees from another DCCA employer may need to adjust timelines and start dates because of the delays.  

Background: DCCA made a number of changes in November, including elimination of the internal transfer option. The government transfer process (or the employment release transfer) takes longer and requires a security check as well as more stringent documentation. Employees switching jobs within DCCA now must provide (1) a no-objection letter from their current sponsor, (2) a final settlement form and (3) an undertaking letter from their new sponsor. Both the no objection letter and the undertaking letter must be provided in Arabic. The undertaking letter must state that the new sponsor will take responsibility for the repatriation of employees if their visa application is rejected. The delays associated with the maintenance of the DCCA’s internal system for processing visa transfers have additional complicated matters.

BAL Analysis: Those considering a visa transfer should consult with BAL to determine the best course of action and what other options might be available to them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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