UAE implements new "Good Conduct Certificate" ruling

Foreign workers applying for employment visas will first have to obtain a "Good Conduct Certificate".

Workers seeking employment in the Gulf state of United Arab Emirates will now have to meet a new legal requirement before they will even be considered for job openings.

On February 4, 2018, the country’s Ministry of HR implemented a new ruling stating that all foreign workers applying for UAE employment visas will first have to obtain the "Good Conduct Certificate".

The certificate this to be issued by the country of origin of the person, or the country where they have been a resident in for the past five years. Thereafter, their document will be officially approved by the state's mission, as well as the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Only incoming workers will have to apply for the certificate. Their dependents are not required to do so. Tourists and students do not need to obtain the certificate.

An existing foreign resident working in the UAE switching jobs within the country will not have to get the certificate as well.

The committee that approved this plan had said last year the aim was to create a more secure and peaceful community.

The initial reaction has been one of caution. Experts from Corporate Research and Investigations, a background screening company, said that in the short term, business leaders should be wary of a potential uptick in employment fraud.

The high volume of foreign applicants applying for jobs in the UAE could mean a rush to secure the certificates, with the possibility of a few individuals using fraudulent credentials to meet applicable standards. They added that there's also a risk of applicants presenting fraudulent good conduct certificates to obtain employment visas quickly.

On February 19, however, the Ministry of HR and Emiratisation postponed the ruling for Filippino and Indonesian domestic workers until June. 

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