The UAE government has announced that it will further its campaign to clamp down on jobseekers who use fake degrees to get work in the UAE by imposing a fine of up to AED 1 million and serving two years in prison.
As per the draft passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday (February 16), people who use forged qualifications will face stricter penalties, even if they claim ignorance about the authenticity of their documents.
AED 1 Million Fine and Jail for People Using Fake Degrees in the UAE
According to the Council, such people will be fined AED 30,000 and could spend up to three years in jail, The National reported.
As per FNC member Nasser Al Yamahi, everybody knows the rapid technological advancements for producing such documents.
He pointed out that many people get fake degrees from unlicensed academic institutes abroad, and that it has become a worldwide trend, and not just in the UAE.
“This is something new in society, and it is not prosecuted [by existing] laws, so it became necessary to have a comprehensive legislation for it,” Mr Al Yamahi said.
In line with this, the new law will also target recruiters and employers who knowingly accept fake paperwork. The authenticity of qualifications is certified by the Ministry of Higher Education.
A minimum fine of AED 100,000 – which can go up to AED 1 million – and two years in jail will be imposed.
At the FNC in January 2019, Minister of State for Higher Education Dr Ahmad Al Falasi said the country’s status as a “top destination” has tempted people to forge documents to land lucrative positions.
In line with this, he clarified that no fake degrees were accredited by the ministry but 143 attempts to pass off such certificates as genuine were detected in 2018.
“Before accrediting any certificate, the ministry asks for stamps from concerned parties, like the embassy of the country the degree was issued at, and then we contact the university itself and confirm whether the student graduated from there,” he said.
In line with this, jobseekers applying for roles in government and semi-government organizations in Abu Dhabi must present a degree accredited by the ministry before being recruited. But not all private companies follow that rule.
The new law aims to end this discrepancy and put an end to the practice of using fake qualifications in the UAE.
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