UAE expat good conduct certificate suspended due to chaos

Published:  2 Apr at 6 PM
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Due to confusion about its rules, the UAE’s controversial good-conduct certificate law is now suspended for an indefinite period.

Much to the relief of newly-arrived expats and those changing jobs, the bureaucratic chaos following the introduction of the good conduct certificate law is over for at least a while. The suspension of the new law, introduced at the beginning February, forced all arrivals in the emirates to produce a police certificate from their home country stating the bearer has no convictions or criminal history. The new law was originally designed to be extended to expats already in residence who were changing jobs within the UAE.

Whilst the spokesperson who announced suspension of the unpopular law didn’t give a reason for the decision, embassies have been deluged with requests from their nationals for the certificate, but have been unable to figure out exactly what is needed. Some countries seems to have had fewer problems than others, but all are unhappy about having to be involved and a high number of would-be immigrants with jobs waiting have been unable to enter the UAE as a result.

Embassies have been suggesting those considering job offers with an uptake a few months from now should apply individually, but are warning it’s a very difficult process as it needs to go through home country police authorities as well. Experienced recruitment firms have also reported problems, with one describing ‘teething troubles’ attributed to differing requirements for those immigrating and those changing jobs. Apparently, the process is simpler if the applicant has lived in a single country for the past five years.

Meanwhile in Kuwait, lawmakers have now approved a bill legalising a tax on expat financial remittances to their home countries. The tax will be calculated at a four-band salary level, beginning at one per cent on the lowest salary and rising to five per cent on the highest. Proceeds form the tax should yield some $223 million, with the bill gaining votes from two-thirds of parliamentarians.
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