News Details

Immigration developments in the MENA Region

Date: Sun, 03 Jun, 2018

Immigration developments in the MENA Region

United Arab Emirates

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has released further details regarding the requirements for companies to qualify for membership in the Emiratisation Partners Club. Participation in the club is optional, unless the MOHRE targets a company for Emiratisation based on the number of employees in the company and the industry. Depending on the priority of nationalization and the number of Emirati citizens employed, companies are classified as Silver, Gold or Platinum members. The membership tier level triggers benefits and incentives, such as reclassification of a company to higher category and fast tracking for employment-related transactions, among others. The program is currently addressed to companies registered outside of free zones.


The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced a new resolution regarding the regulation of the employment of Emirati nationals in the private sector in the mainland. The new law sets out procedures that must be followed by companies for the employment and termination of UAE nationals, including the submission of an end-of-service interview report to determine the reasons for concluding the employment relationship.


The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates has announced that international investors and professionals in medical, scientific, research and technical fields as well as all scientists and innovators will be eligible for residency permits with a validity of up to ten years. Further details of the new law are expected to be announced in the coming months, and the changes are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.


The Ministry of Manpower has amended part-time employment regulations for Omanis by expanding the categories that can benefit from this type of employment to students and retirees. The new regulations contribute to increasing flexibility of the labour market although part time manpower shall not exceed 20% of the prescribed Omanization ratio of a company.


Chinese, Indian and Russian passports holders will soon be eligible for a 30-day single-entry visa for tourism without having to present a valid residency or entry visa issued by a third-country, according to a statement by the Royal Oman Police. It is not clear from when the new visa policy will be effective. Previously, citizens of these three countries were required to present a valid residency or entry visa issued by Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, or a Schengen Member Country to avail of a visa-on-arrival.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian authorities have restricted certain visitor visa conditions for applicants from select countries, according to an announcement by the Saudi visa application centre in Dubai – VFS Tasheel International.


The Human Resources Development Fund and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development have announced the launch of the 2018 edition of the Summer Training Program, called Saifi, which aims at preparing students to acquire necessary work experience in order to meet the Saudi labour market needs. Employers in the private sector must participate in the Saifi summer training programs and must offer students on-the-job training at their site, or must arrange a course through one of the approved institutes. Saifi will start on July 8, 2018 and will run for four weeks.


The Ministry of Administrative Labour and Social Affairs recently began full implementation of a requirement for all engineers to register with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). Effective immediately, foreign nationals holding a valid Work Residence Permit for Qatar with any engineering profession must register with the MME and pass an examination administered by this authority. Registration is mandatory for all engineering professions regardless of the company’s business activities.