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How to change a job in Dubai?

17 September 2015

Expatriates working in Dubai, UAE are permitted to switch jobs on completion of two years with their current employer. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the current employer is no-longer a pre-requisite for changing jobs in Dubai, according to latest regulation by the UAE Ministry of Labour.

Earlier, during a contract termination or resignation, a NOC from the sponsoring company was a must. The new regulation implies that sponsors can no longer compel employees to work for them, and that the workers can change jobs, if they wish to.

However, they will have to end the work relationship in good terms with the current employer, and should have completed a minimum of two years with the present company (irrespective of whether they are in an unlimited or limited contract). However, in case of limited contracts, if the employee has not completed the agreed term, the company has the right to impose a one-year ban.

change jobs

Listed below are cases where a work permit can be obtained by the employee prior to completion of two years with the present employer:

  • If the new job position belongs to the first, second, or third category of professions (as defined by DNRD), with salary not less than Dh.12,000, Dh.7000 and Dh.5000 in three classes respectively.
  • The labour contract is terminated due to employer’s violation of legal and labour obligations towards the worker, or if the worker has no role in termination of the work relationship.
  • If the employee is transferred to another company, in which, the employer has a share or own the company.
  • People who are changing work from private to government or semi-government.

The decision to permit a worker with an expired job contract, to obtain new work permit and shift to another employer, without facing a six month ban period, without an NOC from present employer, was initiated by the Labour Ministry to bring in flexibility into the labour market.

Rules for family visas when changing jobs

Expatriates changing jobs in Dubai, UAE, do not have to cancel visas of the family members who are under their sponsorships. However, a bank guarantee of Dh.5000 for each family member will have to be deposited with Department of Naturalisation and Residency.

The applicant can get the bank guarantee refund, when he obtains new residency permit, and residence visas of his family members and sponsored ones will automatically be transferred to him, without having to pay any new fees.

Documents to be submitted to NRD for transfer of sponsorship of family members are:

  • Application to NRD seeking non-cancellation of visas of family members (those under employee’s sponsorship).
  • Dh.5000 bank guarantee
  • New Employment Permit by Labour Ministry to the new sponsor
  • Job offer letter from new employer.

According to Ministry of Naturalisation, Residency and Exit Affairs, such arrangements have been made to streamline procedures for expat residents in UAE, without adding to their financial constraints.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries

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