The UAE’s parliamentary body, the Federal National Council (FNC), has agreed to extend the duration of work permits from two years to three. This decision was made to reduce the financial burden associated with obtaining work permits. Currently, it is illegal to work in the UAE without a valid permit, which is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
The FNC Committee on Financial, Economic, and Industrial Affairs proposed the extension of work permits to three years, and this recommendation was approved. The committee also suggested other measures, such as waiving work permit fees for job changes.
Additionally, the FNC approved a requirement for workers to spend at least one year with an employer after the probation period, although this can be waived with the employer’s consent.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation reported conducting over 72,000 inspection visits across the country, including investigations into suspected cases of fraudulent Emiratisation.
Approximately 430 cases were identified and referred to the public prosecution. In January 2023, 20 firms were referred to the public prosecution for violating Emiratisation policies, and the owner and manager of a private company were imprisoned for deceiving 296 Emiratis who were participating in the Nafis program.
A federal law mandates that private sector companies increase the number of Emiratis in their workforce. By the end of last year, companies with 50 or more employees were required to have at least 2% Emiratis in skilled positions. This year, by June 30, companies must increase this to 3%, and by the end of the year, it must reach 4%.