Expats in UAE to undergo criminal record checks

Published:  11 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Dubai, UAE
The UAE parliament is expected to make a favourable decision regarding the need for expatriate workers to undergo criminal record checks.

Security checks for criminal records are about to become the norm for expats working in the UAE after the scheme was approved in principle by the emirates’ cabinet. The move is believed to be a result of a high-profile criminal case involving a Jordanian accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering an eight-year old boy.

Since the case was brought, FNC members based in Dubai have called for stringent security checks to be applied to all expats in the same manner as they are applied to Emiratis before clearance certificates are issued. According to SNC member Hamad al Rahoumi, there is no other way to ensure expats are clear of criminal records in their home countries.

Meanwhile, an article in Doha Life indicates the existing medical check-ups required in Qatar before expatriates are issued with residence permits are to be stepped up to include tests aimed at identifying kidney disease. At present, the mandatory screenings include HIV-AIDs, tuberculosis, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C, with clinical examinations of the skin, heart and eyes also on the list.

Expatriates found to have kidney disease will be declared medically unfit to enter the emirate, and will be denied a residence permit as a result. In addition, two updated medical devices used to detect hepatitis B and C are being installed at Qatar’s Medical Commission.

According to the Times of Oman, last year’s expat exodus looks likely to continue well into 2017, as the emirate’s economy continues to shrink. Expats in the process of leaving told the media salaries are being cut and payments are often delayed, putting those with families and children in education in a difficult position.

Although the oil price is looking slightly healthier, it’s believed austerity will continue in the Sultanate for most of this year. Those most likely to leave are working in mid- and senior-level positions in the construction industry, with new projects remaining on hold for the foreseeable future as budgets are reserved for paying bills and loan interest.
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