11th October 2018
Effective 15th October 2018, UAE companies applying for staff visas will no longer be required to deposit a visa bank guarantee of AED3,000. This is part of the government's plans to boost the economy and a significant overhaul of the UAE's visa system.
The current UAE visa bank guarantee system
Until now, employers have deposited a visa bank guarantee at the time of processing a new employee's visa. This is held for the duration of the employee's employment. The employer can then either request it to be refunded or keep it deposited against a future visa.
The new insurance scheme replacing the visa bank guarantee system
Replacing the visa bank guarantee will be an annual insurance policy per employee of AED60. The policy will provide cover of up to AED20,000 per employee. The insurance is intended to compensate the worker for gratuity (end of service benefit), flight ticket home, unpaid wages, and notice pay in the event the employer is unable to pay, e.g in the instance that a company is in financial difficulty.
How can UAE companies reclaim their visa bank guarantees?
It is reported that approximately AED14 billion is currently held in UAE visa bank guarantees. Employers will be able to claim refunds for their guarantees currently held. At the moment, it is yet to be announced when employers can start to claim the refunds and how this will be rolled out. However, it is understood that companies which have had a block against them within the last six months will need to be block free for six months before they can claim.
Gateway Group can help with your UAE visa processing requirements. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can confirm the document requirements and fees and subsequently manage the process to be streamlined and efficient. For more information about how Gateway can assist with your Abu Dhabi visa requirements, please email us: Info@GatewayToAbuDhabi.com
Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO, Gateway Group of Companies
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