The Emirati government has announced that it will introduce a new passport in September.

Key Points:

  • On Sept. 1, Emirati nationals will be able to apply for a new version of the UAE’s passport.
  • The new passport will include new security and technology features designed to protect Emirati nationals’ identities and reduce falsification and forgery.
  • Emirati nationals will be allowed to use their old passport until its expiration date and are not required to apply for the new version immediately.
  • The Emirati government encourages its citizens to submit passport renewal applications through this website within six months of their current passport’s expiration date.

Additional Information: More information regarding the UAE’s decision to introduce a new passport is available here.

BAL Analysis: Emirati authorities introduced the new passport with intent to safeguard its citizens identities and reduce passport falsifications and fraudulent activities. Emirati nationals should apply for passport renewals within six months of its expiration date to avoid delays or complications.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

The Emirati government has begun issuing electronic residence permits at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

Key Points:

  • As of June 13, the DIFC issues electronic residence permits instead of collecting and stamping foreign nationals’ passports.
  • The DIFC joins Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) as the two regions within the emirate of Dubai to issue electronic residence stamps.
  • Employees must now wait to receive their physical Emirates ID card to travel internationally.

Additional Information: Authorities combined the residence and identity card applications under one application; foreign nationals will only need to submit one application for the issuance or renewal of residence and identity card services. More information regarding the cancelation of residency visa stamps is available here.

BAL Analysis: The DIFC will issue electronic residence permits within intent to streamline the residency renewal process and mitigate unnecessary delays in the application process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has announced that it will begin classifying private companies into three tiers based on their compliance with directives.

Key Points:

  • Beginning June 1, private companies will be categorized into three tiers depending on how they meet law and wage protection requirements, protect workers’ rights and promote diversity.
  • Work permit costs will be determined by the company’s classification.
  • Companies will be classified as Tier 1 if they meet certain criteria, including:
    • Raising the Emiratization rate at least three times above the target.
    • Training at least 500 UAE nationals annually.
    • Being a business owned by a young UAE national.
    • Being a training center that promotes cultural diversity.
    • Being active in targeted sectors and activities determined by Emirati authorities.
  • Information regarding criteria for Tier 2 is available here and for Tier 3 here.

Additional Information: More information regarding the UAE’s new classification system is available here.

BAL Analysis: Employers should check their Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) profile on June 1 to determine their tier level.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has announced that it will fine employers who do not meet the new Emiratization requirements by 2023.

Key Points:

  • Beginning in January 2023, companies that do not meet the Emiratization requirements will be required to pay 6,000 AED per month for every Emirati citizen not employed at the required level.
  • Fines are set to increase 1,000 AED every year after 2023.
  • Under the Emiratization program, companies that have more than 50 employees and have high-skilled jobs must increase the percentage of Emiratis hired 2% annually until 2026.

Additional Information: The UAE government has announced the Emiratization program to increase the number of Emirati nationals employed in the private sector by 10% in the next five years. More information regarding the UAE’s Emiratization requirement is available here.

BAL Analysis: Employers should plan ahead to ensure they meet the new employment requirements to avoid fines.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has launched a new 60-day job exploration visa.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals who are classified as first, second or third skill level by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) and have a bachelor’s degree can now apply for a job exploration visa.
  • Applicants will not need to be sponsored by a host or sponsor to receive the visa. Previously, individuals who applied for similar visas were required to be sponsored by a business or individual in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Individuals will be able to conduct job interviews, meetings, business opportunities, such as setting a company.

Additional Information: More information on how the MoHRE classifies skill level is available here.

BAL Analysis: The Emirati government has launched the new visa with intent to attract more young talent and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities available in the UAE.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government will allow certain Ukrainian nationals to apply for a one-year residency visa.

Key Points:

  • As of April 12, Ukrainian nationals can apply for a one-year residency permit in the United Arab Emirates through Tasheel centers.
  • To be eligible for the one-year residency permit, Ukrainian nationals must have been present in the UAE before the war in Ukraine began and have a(n):
    • Copy of their passport with at least six months validity and a color headshot.
    • Medical report.
    • Copy of a health insurance policy.
    • Emirates ID application form to be completed at a Tasheel center.
  • Ukrainian nationals who have been in the UAE for more than 40 days are exempt from paying overstay fines.

Additional Information: Ukrainian nationals continue to have visa-free entry upon arrival in the UAE.

BAL Analysis: The UAE’s decision to offer one-year residence permits to eligible Ukrainian nationals is welcome news as authorities had previously announced they would not offer such protections. Ukrainian nationals who receive the one-year residency permit will be able to live and work in the UAE.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has announced that it will suspend the issuance of residency visa stamps to foreign nationals.

Key Points:

  • Beginning April 11, the Emirati immigration authorities will no longer issue residency visa stamps to foreign nationals who have residency in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Foreign residents will be able to use their Emirates ID card to prove their residency status instead of the residency visa stamp.

Additional Information: Residence and identity card applications will be joined together under one application; foreign nationals will only need to submit one application for the issuance or renewal of residence and identity card services. More information regarding the UAE’s suspension of issuing residency visa stamps is available here.

BAL Analysis: The UAE’s decision to no longer issue residency visa stamps is intended to streamline the residency renewal process and mitigate unnecessary delays in the application process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government has lifted its travel ban on 12 countries in southern Africa.

Key Points:

  • As of Jan. 29, authorities resumed flights from Botswana, Congo Republic, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
  • Travelers from the countries listed above must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, take an additional rapid-PCR test at the airport of departure and another PCR test upon arrival in the UAE.
  • More information on country specific entry requirements is available here.

BAL Analysis: Travel restrictions and health requirements may change with little or no notice. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Emirati government now requires an appointment for those needing to submit biometrics for the issuance of the Emirates Identity Card.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals must book an appointment with the Federally Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security to submit their biometric data.
  • Individuals who have booked a biometrics appointment must provide one of the following:
    • Proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • A negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the scheduled appointment.

Additional Information: If individuals are unable to attend their appointment, they must provide evidence and a reason for not attending and will be scheduled for the following day.

BAL Analysis: The new biometric appointment system may increase the time required to complete the residency visa process. BAL will continue to monitor changes in requirements and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.

The Emirati government has announced it will implement a shorter national working week in 2022.

Key Points:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, federal government entities will be open:
    • Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    • Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Private companies retain the right to choose their own work schedules.

Additional Information: The Emirati government said it changed the national working hours with intentions to promote a healthy work-life balance and improve social well-being while advancing the country’s economic competitiveness.

BAL Analysis: The new working week intends to align the UAE’s financial and public sectors with the global market.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2021 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@bal.com.