Passport Law and UAE worker's Right

UAE Passport Law, UAE Passport issues, Passport holding issues in uae, uae labor law,

Who has your Passport? Is your passport with you or with your Company?
When it comes to original Passport, everyone wants to retain their passports with themselves, and yes it is necessary to keep your passport with yourself, as you can take benefit of it while travelling on emergency situations.

We have been asked by our Global visitors specially UAE employees that:
1: Can employer retain our Passport?
2: Is it legal to detain employee passport?
3: My company is not giving me my passport, what to do?
4: How to receive my own passport from Company?
5: What UAE Law says about Passport?
6: Is there any fine on Company, if they keep our Passport with themselves?
7: How to register a case against employer?
8: Provide legal wording from decree (article)?
9: Is passport is the property of our company once visa stamped on it?
10: What Ministry of Interior said about Passport ownership?

We have answered all above questions in below Guide, Please read it and share it for awareness.

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Who is the owner of Passport?
A passport is officially the property of your government that issued it and the wording to this effect can be found on first or last page of each and every passport. The standard wording in English language or may in your country’s national language includes:
"This passport is the property of the Government",
And also states:
"This passport should be in the custody either of the holder or of a person authorized by the holder". 
Check out below Images.

Last Page of Philippines Passport

Last Page of Pakistani Passport

While we all have to hand our passports over to authorized bodies to obtain visas, individuals are not supposed to hand them over to unauthorized bodies and that includes to employers, apart from for affixing visas.

What UAE Law says about Passport?
The UAE Government officials have repetitively stated that no employer should retain an employee’s passport, yes read it again, No employer should retain an employee’s passport.

According to the legal department of (MOHRE) Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation: "Retaining workers’ (employee’s) passport also amounts to forcible work in violation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labor, to which the United Arab Emirates is a signatory".

HUMAID BIN DEEMAS AL SUWAIDI, Assistant Undersecretary of Labour Affairs at Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, explain the law surrounding passports:
“The confiscation of passports is an illegal procedure as the passport is a personal document and is considered the property of the country which issued it.
“Passports should not be confiscated until there is a court ruling stipulating that or in accordance with judicial or public prosecution orders.  

What Ministry of Interior articulates about Passport ownership?
It was 2002, when the Ministry of Interior issued a decree which included the words:
"As the passport is a personal document and as the law obliges its owner to keep and show when required by the governmental authorities, it is not allowed for any party to detain the passport except by the official parties with a judicial order and according to the law. Consequently it will be considered as an illegal action to detain the passport in UAE except by the governmental parties."

Is there any fine on Company?
Yes, UAE employers detaining workers’ passports can be jailed and fined up to 20, 000 AED, in simple words the offence carries a jail sentence and a fine of up to 20K AED.

What to do if employer refuses to return Passport?
If an employer (company) refuses to return your passport, you or any individual who are facing passport detaining issue from his/her employer can register a case against them at their local labour office and even file a police case against them at nearest police station or through official site/app of Local Police.

“In case where an employer has confiscated the passport of an employee under any pretext, the employee has the right to go to court, according to the stated procedures.

“The UAE laws and jurisdictions guarantee the expatriate worker’s right to go to court. The UAE courts have issued many verdicts that obliged the employer to return the employees (worker) passport and to pay the court cost.

“There are also no articles in the labour law, Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation orders or the law of entry and residency for foreigners that grants the right to keep or confiscate the passport for any reason.”

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  1. I resigned from my company and my company already cancelled my visa but they keep my passport telling me that i need to exit the country and will give my passport at the Airport, they held my passport for the reason that they told me they are still liable for my stay and the company will be black listed if i over stay. Due to bank issues i'm not able to travel, I'm still looking for a job. Is the company have the right to keep my passport? What if i cant find a job until my grace period expires, will i be black listed too?

  2. Nonsense! Why should you pretend that you are not aware that all companies including government agencies retain and keep passports for their employees!? Who does not know that? I paid 7500aed for my visa to work for dubai taxi. They instructed me to exit after payment. I returned after a month and they ordered me to pay 4800aed for driving school. After they told me to pay aed 2000 for location trainning which i obligged to. I paid for medical and emirates id. I am still paying for other unclear things until today let alone spending six months without any income....i have sold off all my property in my country....and you are here claimming to be handling labour issues!! I am thinking of returning to my home country! But before i do it i will teach whover i come across a lesson and this government will not exploit any other person again. Expect to record it in history...

  3. I have finished my 2 years contract and work from my previous Company and even extended for a month before i resigned.My Employment Visa was cancelled January 29, 2015.I did not get any gratuity pay nor any other payment but only 350 dirhams as my final pay.When i got an offer to a different Company,i was advised to take my passport from my previous Company but all of a sudden they told me that i Absconded? How could that be when i finished my contract,extended for a month and I submitted a Resignation Letter? Until now,for almost 2 years that Company still has my passport,any advice from the people who had experienced this or similar to it?Thanks

  4. I'm working at as housemaid here in uae and my employer take n hold my pastport Wat should I do should the Philippines embassy check all their people

  5. Thank you very much for your helpful information for us labours in the UAE.

  6. Good guidance for the people who want establish their business in dubai...i really like your efforts
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  7. Nice article Thank you for sharing.
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  9. I am working here in UAE as NANNY.i have a tourist visa and the person who recruit me sell me to my employer around 12k dirhams.i don't want to work here and I'm asking for transfer to other employer but to no avail.if I wanted to go back in the Phil' passport and visa is in my employers employer charge me 750 dirhams for visa as they I have to pay with that?if I wanted to go h0me in the Phil's?,what should I do? What's step should I follow.pls help me with this.tnx


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