Beware the penalties for leaving Dubai without properly cancelling your Visa!

by mfefadmin on September 6, 2008

How many people actually considered the consequences of not cancelling a visa obtained in Dubai? We all know how vital a visa is to live and work there but what are the laws on visa cancellation?

This thread has literally opened up a can of worms and while some of the information is a little contradictory – due in the main to the ever changing laws in Dubai and the surrounding areas – the general picture is very easy to see. You need to ensure that your visa is cancelled in the correct manner if you leave the country as you may be subjected to a future labour ban or even an entry ban into the country.

The thread also contains some very interesting pointers about working in Dubai and the control which your employer has over you. Interestingly there seems to be a minimum employment period which is designed to stop those who like to jump for job to job. The consensus seems to be a minimum period of 1 year with any one employer before which point you will receive an employment ban if you are looking to move to a new employer. Indeed it seems as though your old employer will still have the power to reclaim visa costs and make life a little difficult for you even after you have left!

Readers of this thread must be aware that laws and regulations in the region vary and change from time to time, but the basics still appear to remain the same. Working and living in Dubai is very different to other areas of the world – you have been warned!


This thread starts off with a question about visas, which is answered by a number of posters, but it then opens up into an informative debate about employment in Dubai and the various restrictions and penalties which are in place. It soon becomes very clear that working and living in Dubai is very different to places such as the UK!

Those who have never looked at the employment and visa regulations of Dubai will no doubt be in for a shock – there may be a large ex-pat community in the region but everyone lives by the same rules. The days of moving to Dubai for the big bucks and the new lifestyle may still be there, but minimum employment periods also ensure that only those who are dedicated to assisting the economy of the region will benefit. While in the UK you can literally change employment within a day, in Dubai there is a one year limit before which you will receive an employment ban before being able to move on.

The subject of visas is also a rather tricky area and many people may not be aware of the consequences of not cancelling their visa correctly when they leave – although the consequences will be felt if they ever try to return!

This thread shows that it has never been more vital to actually check out all aspects of the country you are looking to move to and ensure that you know what to expect. Regulations and rules may look simple in theory, but in practice it might be very very different!

Read the full discussion on Dubai Visas.

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