Absconding from or overstaying UAE tourist visa

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Absconding from or overstaying UAE tourist visa

Postby moira123 » 29 Dec 2014, 13:27

hello there!

i just to some help regarding my situation. I was hired by the company months ago while i was on tourist visa and our PRO requires stamping and attestation on my credentials so I need to send it to my home country for the requirements and when it got expired (60days tourist visa) I was able to find an agency that can help me expedite my stay outside and go back again in UAE without having to stay outside the country for 30days before entering as a tourist again while waiting for my papers to process my visa.(waive visa as they call it).

Here's my dilemma now, my papers are currently in process now with the PRO but my visa will expire this week. The agency said that I cannot overstay since my visa is different and if I overstayed even just for hours, I will have a case filed against me as absconding.

Is this really true? since i know for a fact that absconding cases are only filed if you are an employment visa holder.

Thanks in advance for helping me clear the clouds.
moira123
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Re: Absconding from or overstaying UAE tourist visa

Postby shawarma » 29 Dec 2014, 15:55

My understanding is that an absconding complaint is not automatic, and can be filed by an employer against an employee if they don't show up at work. But if the employer doesn't file a complaint, then the employee is not regarded as absconding.

So what the agency said to you is something new I haven't heard of before. I can't say if it is true or not, only that I didn't know about that possibility.

Contact the MOL or immigration department (or both) since they are the authorities regarding employment and visas. Sometimes they can be helpful. It's possible there is a misunderstanding somewhere regarding this situation.

And with a tourist visa, my understanding is that once you exit the country you must remain outside the country for 30 days unless you come from one of the countries which are permitted a visa on arrival (which is a visit visa not a tourist visa - the difference does matter sometimes).

So again, an agency claiming they can get around this rule is news to me.

A possible exception is if you exit the country, and your new employer applies for an employment visa or entry permit, which is a temporary (30 day) visa to allow you to enter the UAE for employment while your work permit and residence visa are processed. Then the 30 day rule might not apply, but I don't know for sure - again, check with the immigration department helpline and ask. Don't rely on information from me, other forums, or travel agents especially if they seem to be able to do things different from what the rules say.

As far as I know, it is possible to pay an additional fee to have your visa status changed from visitor to employment while you are in the UAE, but only on a visit visa, not a tourist visa. With a tourist visa you must exit, however, you can wait in the UAE while the employment visa is being processed, and then take it with you and do a visa flight to Muscat, Doha, Kish Island etc (avoid Kish Island for this if you can).

The company needs to arrange this, not a tourist agency, and some companies might be reluctant to do this since there is a bit more pressure on them to get it done. If you exit and wait, then there is nothing you can do if the company takes a long time to get the new visa processed, or worse, if they change their minds and decide not to employ you. Offer to pay the additional fee so the company can't claim they don't want to pay the extra costs.

Overstaying a tourist or visit visa I think costs AED 100 or 200 plus AED 100 or 200 for each day overstayed.

In Dubai there is a 10 day grace period after visit visa expiry for those who get a visa on arrival, but I don't know if that also applies to other visit visas, or to tourist visas - check with Dubai immigration department (DNRD). Make sure you tell them you have a tourist, not a visit visa, and you have renewed it already (I presume you have since you said it was 60 days).

Given the limited amount of time you have left, I would suggest you:

1. Contact the MOL to ask about an absconding case as a result of overstaying a tourist visa.
2. Contact immigration to ask about the same thing. Also ask what the fine is for overstaying. And ask if you will have problems other than a fine if you stay in the UAE (and overstay your tourist visa) while your company gets employment visa processed.
3. Contact your new employer and say you want to stay in the UAE while they get employment visa processed, but it needs to be done quickly because your tourist visa will expire soon. If they sound uncooperative, say you'll pay the extra fee if there is one to get it done while you stay in the UAE, and any urgent processing fee if that is possible. Don't say that straight away, give them a chance to offer to help.
4. Also talk to your company's PRO and ask about what the travel agent told you. But if the PRO was the one who suggested the travel agent then you might get inaccurate information.

I would not deal with the travel agent until I have confirmed with an official authority that what they say is correct. Which is the UAE immigration department.

My concern is that the travel agent might be making things up to try and get your business and money.

http://www.desertspeak.com/viewtopic.php?t=4257 - related question about tourist and visit visa status change to employment visa.

http://www.dubaifaqs.com/dnrd.php - Dubai immigration.
http://www.dubaifaqs.com/visa-tourist-dubai.php
http://www.dubaifaqs.com/ministry-of-labour-uae.php
Please use the forum for questions, not the PM system.
shawarma
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Re: Absconding from or overstaying UAE tourist visa

Postby moira123 » 29 Dec 2014, 16:20

Thanks for the prompt and very informative response!

The visa that I got from them was issued in Sharjah and they said that Sharjah immigration was very strict when it comes to overstaying. 'Coz my employer wants to me to wait until I have the papers before I exit but it seems that it will not happen soon as the papers are still pending.

Maybe I will just exit the country to be sure and wait for the employment visa outside. The agency is telling my scary things like not having an employment visa anymore if there'll be a case filed against me for being overstayed and worse, will be sent to jail or deported. :shock:
moira123
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Re: Travel agents in Sharjah

Postby shawarma » 29 Dec 2014, 16:55

It's true that Sharjah is more strict than other emirates in many situations, and more inconsistent in how rules are applied. But it can only be more strict up to a point.

Either that agency knows something I don't (which is quite possible, I don't know that much, and I'm not a travel agent), or they're trying to scare you unreasonably.

If it makes more sense for you to stay outside the UAE because it's cheaper, or you can visit family, or go somewhere you want to visit, then fair enough, use this as an opportunity to do that. But if it would be easier for you to stay in the UAE, then check some of the information you have been given.

Ask another travel agent in Sharjah the same questions. Then ask one in Dubai. A couple of phone calls don't cost you much.

Then phone the UAE immigration helpline and ask the same things.

People aren't jailed in the UAE for overstaying a few days, or even weeks. Maybe overstaying a few years has a risk of a jail sentence.

You can't abscond from a job if you don't have one in the first place, and at present you don't.

Get proper information from proper sources before you choose to start believing stories that might not be correct. It will help you make a much better decision, or help you feel more confident about doing whatever you plan to do.

http://www.dubaifaqs.com/sharjah.php
Please use the forum for questions, not the PM system.
shawarma
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