labour law

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August 28, 2020

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Overstaying fines: who pays, you or your employer?

The reader's resignation was served during the 30-day grace period for visa renewal

1. If you submit your resignation your resignation during the grace period for your employment visa renewal, who is liable to pay any overstay fines that may be incurred? This is the query raised by a Gulf News reader.

A Gulf News reader raised a query regarding his recent resignation.

2. The reader said: " in my previous company (with a limited contract renewed in March 2020) applied for my resignation on July 9, 2020 and served one month notice period till August 11,2020, including additional days...

The reader submitted his resignation and served a one-month notice period.

3. "as requested form the company. furthermore, I highlighted to the human resources team immediately after resignation that my visa had already expired on June 20,2020 and it was not yet renewed by the company..

The visa had not yet been renewed by the company.

4. " and to further look into it. My visa was cancelled on August 13,2020 and now my visa cancellation is mentioning that my grace period has already ended on July 20,2020 while as per company (records) I worked till August 11, 2020

5. "which means I worked during the grace period and after my grace period. Due to this, I had to pay the pending fines from July 20,2020 till August 11,2020

The reader worked during the grace period and a few more days on the company's request.

6. " Please advise if these fines are on company's responsibility and if I have the right to claim the same. Also, what action should the company have taken in order to avoid these fines for me?"

Please advise if these fines are on company's responsibility and if I have the right to claim the same," the reader asked.

7. Gulf News raised the query with Dr. Hassan Elhais, legal consultant at Dubai-based Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants, who provided the following response:

Gulf News raised the query with Dr Hassan Elhais, legal consultant at Dubai-based Al Rowaad Advocated and Legal Consultants.

8. The UAE Federal Law on Entry and Residence of Aliens provides under Article 19 that the holder of a residence visa must leave the country upon cancellation of the permit or expiration of its term.

The UAE's laws clearly state that an individual must leave the country upon cancellation or expiry of a permit.

9. Furthermore, Article 21, of the aforesaid law provides, that should the holder of the resident permit fail to renew the residence permit or leave the country within a period not exceeding thirty days as of the date of expiration..a

Failing to renew your permit or exit the country would lead to fines.

10. " or cancellation, he shall be liable to a fine up to 100 AED per each day from the expiry of the aforesaid period. We note that the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced several extensions ..

The ICA, however, announced several extensions during COVID-19.

11. " of the grace period granted to residency violators along with fine exemptions during the pandemic..

12. " we could understand that your visa expiration and cancellation was during this exemption period and therefore you may be eligible to seek any exemption of the fine, if any..

The reader's visa expiry and cancellation happened during the grace period announced by the UAE's authorities.

13. " we further understand that you had to serve 30 days of notice period to the employer before the employer cancelled your visa.

Article 117 of the UAE labour law stipulates a minimum notice period of 30 days..

The reader's visa expiry and cancellation happened during the grace period announced by the UAE's authorities.

14. Accordingly, when an employee resigns, he or she is obliged to serve the notice or pay a compensatory amount, unless he or she has a written statement from the employer waiving the nitce period for whatever reason"

Unless an employer clearly states that you do not need to serve a notice period, a 30-day notice is required.

15. Furthermore, it is also important to note that serving your notice period is your contractual obligation towards your employer., and the fact that your resignation from the employment was during the grace period of 30 days.

16. the employer may submit that the visa was not renewed since the employee resigned from the employment" he added.

The employer may saw that the visa was not renewed because of the resignation.

17. "In light of the foregoing and considering the regulatory measures undertaken by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) you may approach a relevant

However, the reader can reach out to the relevant authorities to enquire about the fines.

18. General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) on and follow up with them to better understand as to why you did not receive exemption from the fines, he added.

19. So while the employee did resign during the grace period for his visa renewal, he may still approach the immigration authorities to request for a fine waiver.

20. For Dubai visas, individuals can contact Amer centres on 800 5111. For other emirates, they csn contact the ICA on 600 5222 22.

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