The phenomenon of purchasing residency visas within the UAE, in contravention of the law, has recently spread when arrivals visit the UAE on tourist visas seeking employment opportunities, falling prey to shell companies selling residency permits to them after the expiration of tourist visas. This is in return for large amounts of money up to twice the cost of government fees for their issuance.
Some of the so-called shell companies are established without actual activity, and use the residence quotas allocated to the company for the purpose of trading , where some job seekers use it to legalize their situation. But ,in fact, it does not provide them with actual job opportunities. Rather, they leave individuals without work after the residence has been granted.
Circumventing the law, these shell companies deposit monthly salaries in the accounts of residency recipients, and then withdraw them within hours with the bank cards belonging to these residents. Under the agreement, the cards remain in the possession of the companies to be able to withdraw the salary after depositing it every month.
Emarati lawyer and legal adviser Mohammed Al-Najjar has warned against buying and selling work and residence visas in violation of the law in the UAE, stressing the need to inform the competent authorities of any shell company that issues residencies for job seekers and leaves them with loose labour within the country.
Al-Najjar added that some weak souls are establishing shell companies that do not engage in any real business activities. Such companies just sell residency visas in return for sums of money up to AED 10 thousand per visa.
He noted that the penalty for trading residence visas amounts to imprisonment and deportation from the United Arab Emirates for both the seller and buyer. Job seekers are urged to follow the State’s laws to obtain residency visas in order to prevent them from entering into irregularities and accountability before the competent authorities.
Al Najjar denied the existence of the so-called “free work visa” that enables The holder to work in any company, because the presumption is to work for the sponsor or employer who issued the visa. There is the possibility of granting the sponsor a permit to work with others after the approval of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation . The worker’s residence in the State is based on the existence of a working relationship with his issuer, under which he may not remain unemployed or work for another enterprise without a permit. Therefore, failure to do so, and to go wrong, constitutes a grave breach.
Al-Najjar also warned against obtaining fake rental contracts through individuals promoting them online and using them to obtain visas for relatives. He also warned against obtaining passports from other countries through illegal or unofficial means, whether through local or international brokers. He emphasized that individuals resorting to such methods are putting themselves at risk of financial loss and legal consequences, including deportation.
Al-Najjar pointed out that Federal Decree-Law No. 29 of 2021 regarding the entry and residence of foreigners in the UAE specifies penalties, including a fine of AED 50,000, for anyone who brings a foreigner for the purpose of employment and does not employ them or allows them to work for someone else without following the legal procedures.
In cases of repeated offenses, imprisonment and fines may be imposed. In all cases, the court can order the deportation of the violating foreigner. The law also stipulates imprisonment or fines of no less than AED 10,000 for anyone who exploits, aids, abets, or facilitates in any way the misuse of a visa for a purpose other than its intended one. The penalties vary depending on the number of offenders, and the court may order the deportation of the foreigner from the UAE.