What is the change? The United Arab Emirates has temporarily suspended its newly instituted police clearance requirement.

What does the change mean? Until further notice, foreign workers will not be required to provide police clearance certificates (certificates of good conduct) when completing work and mission visa applications. The change will save significant time in the application process.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The suspension took effect Sunday.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and mission visa applications, whether in country or out of country.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals who are applying for new work or mission visas.
  • Impact on processing time: The change saves as much as six weeks in the visa application process, removing the lengthy time period that was required to obtain police clearance certificates and complete the required legalization processes.
  • Business impact: Businesses may be able to move up start dates for some employees now that the requirement has been lifted.

Background: Authorities imposed the new requirement in February, saying the measure was being taken for security reasons. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced on Sunday that the requirement would be suspended until further notice. No details were provided on why the decision was made.

BAL Analysis: The police clearance requirement for visa applicants was a significant administrative burden that could sometimes delay applications by weeks. The change will simplify the visa application process, at least for the time being. BAL will continue to monitor developments in the UAE and will alert clients to any significant changes, including the possibility that the requirement could be reintroduced.

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

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