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Immigration, News

UAE & Wider-GCC Immigration Update

Immigration are continuously revising procedures in order to improve processes and maximise efficiency. Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) recently revealed the launch of an integrated medical fitness testing and residence visa processing centre. Registration for the Emirates ID card must be done outside of the processing centre.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Free Zone Authority accepts only electronic signatures for employment-related services. Employers in DMCC Free Zone need to assign an authorised signatory, that must physically register with DocuSign platform to assist electronic signature of employment-related documents. It is free to register on-line via DMCC portal. It is important to have at least two signatory representatives for the company, as an authorised signatory cannot sign their own documents such as an employment contract.

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has announced The National Program for Emiratisation named Tawteen. The aim of Tawteen is to increase local talent into the private sector via a new labour market testing platform known as Tawteen Gate. The concept is partaking businesses create job ads to UAE nationals looking for employment before being able to hire foreign nationals.

During the recruitment and selection process interviews and providing feedback along with reasons for not getting the position should be provided. If an organisation does not find an appropriate applicant through Tawteen database, the organisation can then offer the job vacancy to foreign applicants.

Some industries and companies that operate outside of the UAE free zones are chosen by MOHRE to join the program. MOHRE perks include Emiratisation Partners Club, fast tracking on employment related transactions etc.

UAE residents applying for visit visas to Russia can now submit their documents at VFS Global visa service center, which has been authorised to process visa applications on behalf of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Dubai and Northern Emirates .Russian passports holders can now have a visitor visa-on-arrival into the UAE, allowing them to stay up to 30 days.

The South African Consulate General in UAE announced that VFS GCC LLC has been chosen as the service provider for managing the visa application submission in the UAE. Visa applications must be submitted at the South Africa Visa Application Centre in Dubai. All applications will be assessed by the South African Consulate General in UAE.


Within the private sector there are new revised conditions regarding transfer of sponsorship. The Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs has cancelled the block visa approval by the new sponsor for all male candidates. Block visa remains in place for all female candidates.

Beforehand, sponsors were bound to pay QAR 10 government fee when issuing a single exit permit. Now the Ministry of Interior has stated that exit permits for foreign residents in Qatar are now free.

The Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs no longer accepts hard copy contracts for employment and immigration purposes. Now employers prepare their employment contracts via MADLSA’s electronic portal. Further terms and conditions which are not enclosed in the existing MADLSA template, should be submitted as an attachment which will then be reviewed by the Ministry’s legal department.


The Ministry of Manpower has extended the suspension on issuance of new work visas for several categories of foreign employees in certain private sectors for another six months, including workers in construction and cleaning services, sales representatives and procurement representatives.

Saudi Arabia

Job vacancies that are advertised by employers on the Taqat portal now have to list vacancies for a minimum 45-day period. Previously the Ministry of Labour and Social Development required the listing to be posted for a minimum of 14-days. The lengthening of the labour market is to target a suitable Saudi hopeful.

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