If you have the misfortune of receiving a work ban in the UAE – also known as “visa ban” or “labour ban” – there are ways to legally lift the ban prior to expiration of the 6-month or 1-year penalty period:
I. In cases where an employee leaves their sponsor’s company before expiration of their contract term, the Ministry of Labour automatically imposes a ban when the employee leaves. In order to lift the ban, the employee must request their last sponsor to issue a No Objection Certificate, or NOC. A request for transfer of sponsorship to a new sponsor, if necessary, should be made to the Ministry of Labour within 1 month of the cancellation of sponsorship, along with the NOC and the requisite fee of AED 200.
II. In cases where the employer has violated the terms of the employment contract, the Ministry of Labor may lift the work ban without an NOC. The Labour Court must rule in favor of the employee finding that he or she was legally entitled to terminate the contract early or outside of the statutory notice period.
It is important to note that Free Zones have their own set of employment regulations and procedures, in addition to the applicable federal laws and regulations, so it is essential to seek competent legal advice tailored to your unique situation.
Sources of Law:
UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Art. 6, 121, 128 and 129
Ministerial Decision No. 8 of 2006
Cabinet Decision No. 3 of 1977
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