Steps expats in the UAE need to take following bereavement

Published:  17 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Immigration, Dubai, UAE
For expats living and working in the UAE, losing a loved one is confusing as well as heartbreaking.

For expatriates living overseas, dealing with the loss of a family member or dear friend is bad enough, without having to take on unfamiliar paperwork and bureaucracy in order to ensure authorities, next of kin and immigration offices are informed. The process in the UAE is typical, and is made easier if the deceased left a will, but has good few stages and can take time to complete.

The first task is to obtain a death certificate from authorities at the government morgue. If the death took place in hospital, a death report will have been taken along with the deceased’s body to the morgue and a certificate issued. Should the death have taken place elsewhere, expats are advised to inform local police by dialling 999. The police will then provide a death report and take the deceased to the morgue, after which a death certificate is issued. The next step is to inform the deceased’s home country consulate or embassy, before registering the death with the UAE’s Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will need to attest the death certificate and the Department of Naturalisation and Residency will cancel the deceased’s visa. At this point it’s best to get all relevant documents translated into Arabic as it’ll minimise the amount of time the entire process can take. A list of approved translators and typing centres is found on Dubai Health Authority’s webpage. Finally, the Ministry of Justice needs to ‘close the document’ by attaching the translated death certificate if necessary and a copy of the original, stapling them together and stamping them.

Should the deceased have properties, bank accounts, a business and /or a will, a Power of Attorney needs to be authorised according to the deceased’s wishes. The Public Notary at the Dubai Court must confirm all details are correct, after which the nominated family member can start to put the deceased’s wishes into effect via an inheritance file and succession certificate obtained at Dubai’s Personal Status Court.
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