There are several things foreign residents in the UAE, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), should know when they come here to work or reside. Among these things are laws concerning immigration, residency, as well as general conduct in society.
In this article, we will share information on blacklist and lifetime ban in the UAE as stipulated in the Federal Law No 6 of 1973 on the Entry and Residence of Foreigners. By learning about important laws concerning entry and residence, we hope that foreign nationals including Filipino migrant workers will benefit from understanding and complying with the law, and avoid penalties and restrictions that violate these rules.
Here are the Rules on Blacklist and Lifetime Ban in UAE
Firstly, what is a blacklist? As the name suggests, a blacklist is a list of names of individuals prohibited from entering or leaving the UAE for any of the following reasons:
- committing a crime,
- for claims of civil rights against them, or
- for posing a threat to public security.
The UAE Federal Law specifically identifies those who are not allowed entry into the country for the following reasons:
1. Those who have previously committed crimes and deportation order from the UAE has been issued against them by the competent court;
2. Those who were deported according to administrative orders issued by the Ministry of Interior;
3. Those whose activities were reported by the International Criminal Cooperation Administration;
4. Those who were proved to have HIV or AIDS or other diseases that the Ministry of Health deems to be a threat to public health; and
5. Those who were deported from GCC countries on criminal grounds.
The same article (Article 94 of the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No 6 of 1973) also details the list of those who are not allowed to exit the UAE, such as:
1. A person against whom an order has been issued by the Public Prosecutor or a representative thereof in a case under investigation;
2. A person against whom a written order has been issued in a case by a competent court; and
3. A person who is indebted to the government and a prohibition order has been issued by the Minister of Interior or his representative.
Other than a blacklist, there is also an Administrative List that contains the names of individuals prohibited to enter UAE due to cancellation of their residence permits and those who cannot leave the country and are to be apprehended due to an absconding case filed by their sponsors.
Deportation Rules in the UAE
Meanwhile, foreign residents with expired or canceled residence visas shall be deported at their own expense as per the order of the GDNR.
However, the Ministry of Interior also can issue an administrative order for the deportation of any foreigner, even if the foreigner has a residence visa, in the following scenarios:
a. if the person has been convicted and the court has issued an order for his/her deportation;
b. if he/she has no apparent means of living; and
c. if the security authorities see that deportation is dictated by public interest, security, or morals.
Moreover, the deportation order issued to a foreigner may include the members of his family who are under his sponsorship.
If the foreigner with a deportation order has interests in the UAE which require to be settled, they can be granted respite to settle such interests after providing an acceptable sponsorship provided that such respite will not exceed three months.
Lifetime or Permanent Ban
It is a common assumption that those who have been deported from the UAE will receive a life, lifetime, or permanent ban. However, this is not the case as there are several types of ban observed in the UAE, each with a corresponding basis.
A lifetime or permanent ban applies to serious offenses such as illegal/criminal activity or absconding.
And due to the advanced technology used by immigration and the government, those assigned with a lifetime or permanent ban can no longer re-enter the UAE as an eye scan as well as their fingerprints will be taken by authorities.
However, other deportation cases may be assigned a different type of ban with specific terms and validity.
How to Check if a Ban Has Been Applied on your Record
Depending on the nature and cause of your deportation or getting blacklisted, you may first contact your sponsor in the UAE to check if any ban has been subsequently applied to your records.
And to check if a labor ban has been applied to your passport, you may contact MoHRE via their hotline number (80060), which is available 24/7 and in various languages. Alternatively, a representative may also contact MoHRE via other communication channels or through one of its Tasheel centers.
For other matters concerning visa bans, checking the blacklist and deportation-related queries, you can contact the Immigration Department. Upon contacting any of their support hotlines, you can provide the call center agent with your passport number and other details such as your previous visa number. Once they have pulled up your records, they will provide you with an update.
If you have left the UAE with some debts on your record, the bank or relevant financial institution may have filed charges against you. In such cases, a representative can walk into any police station in the emirate you last resided and present a copy of your passport, Emirates ID, and authorization letter to check for any cases filed against you. Once a case has been registered under your name by the bank or financial institution involved, you are likely to have an immigration ban. This means that you are prohibited to travel to or transit via the UAE.
Depending on the cause of your ban or reason for getting blacklisted, you (via a representative) will need to approach a specific department or agency in the UAE to verify your records and to check if your pending case(s) can still be settled.
There may be ways to reverse a ban or a court decision for getting blacklisted but this cannot be done by a third-party or a person on the internet who claims they can do it for you for a fee. That is surely a scam, so beware.
You can either hire the services of a lawyer, check with the police or consult with the Labor or Immigration department to know your status in the UAE. But to avoid getting to this point and finding ways to fix your residency status in the UAE, be sure to know and abide by the rules when you are given the opportunity to reside here. As they say, prevention is better than any cure or (costly) fix-ups.
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