The shockwave of a shorter residence visa
Not sure what a shorter residence visa will mean to you? Neither do we. But we’re thinking it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
September 26, 2011 4:07 by shafeer
An article in Gulf News today tried its best to outline the conditions surrounding how individuals are given two-year visas and three-year visas. After reading and re-reading the article a number of times, Kipp was none the wiser.
But here’s what we know so far:
- The two-year residence visa is only for private sector workers, who have had the term of their labour card reduced.
- If you work for a private company and your labour card is issued by the Ministry of Labour then you will have a two-year visa.
- All other expatriates who have their labour permits and residency visas issued only from the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders will have a three-year visa.
- Family members will have the same visa duration as their sponsor.
Whether or not this affects the freezone areas is still a gray area. We’ve had reports where employees from the same company have renewed their visas at the same time and got different time allowances.
Nothing is finalised as the government is still looking at “significant amendments” to the existing residency laws and foreign affairs.
As a ripple effect, this will mean more HR costs for companies now having to renew visas in a shorter period. But on a larger scale, this will mean shorter tenures for expatriates. It will also mean a larger rate of employee turnover and (could it be?) a higher chance for nationals to fill in private sector spaces in the long-term (if they actually want to, as recent researches have said otherwise).
Whatever it is, there is a definite feeling that this is just the tip of the foreign affairs/expatriate purge iceberg. There. We said it.