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Expatriates still need NOC to change jobs

posted on 24/08/2005: 12044 views

The Ministry of Interior yesterday announced that it has stopped stamping the ban on the passports of expatriate workers in the private sector whose residence visas have been cancelled. A senior government official, however, told Gulf News workers must still obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to move jobs.

The official said the lifting of the ban by the Naturalisation and Residency departments ensured all labour issues would be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, not the Interior Ministry.

The new decision by the Ministry of Interior has nothing to do with rules of the Ministry of Labour, which stay in place, or the flow of workers within the workforce. The Interior Ministry yesterday released a statement, which said: "In line with the directives of Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, Naturalisation and Residency departments across the country have stopped stamping the ban on the passports of expatriate workers in the private sector whose residences visas are cancelled, with effect from August 21.

"Sheikh Saif's directives come in line with Cabinet decision No 18 of 2005 whose article No 6 stipulates that Cabinet decision No 30 of 2001 regulating ban stamp rules, shall be cancelled."

The statement emphasised that "the new rule authorises the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs to set necessary regulations for the implementation of ban rules."

The statement said the iris-scan procedure and the administrative enlisting of names of expatriate workers banned from re-entering the country will also be stopped. However, it stressed that the ban stamp system will still be applied to all entry and residence law violators.

Under the new decision, expatriates who leave their jobs or cancel their residence visas will no longer been banned by immigration authorities from re-entering the country, Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Al Khadhar, Legal Adviser of the General Directorate of Naturalisation and Residence at the Ministry of Interior, told Gulf News on Monday.

Earlier, when expatriates received a labour ban, they would automatically get a ban stamped on their passports by the immigration authorities as well, which did not allow them to enter the UAE during the ban period. But that has been done away with, according to Al Khadhar. He said these people now can re-enter the country on any type of visa, other than employment. (The Gulf News)


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