Job seekers and newly hired workers are strongly advised not to travel to Dubai without a valid work permit, or risk returning after landing.

Recruiters in Dubai have started conveying that companies involved in recruiting new employees on a visitor’s visa and then transfer them to residency should avoid this practice. In addition, they warned job seekers who use tourist visas to find work not to be sent back to their home country.

The warning came after more than 1,300 Pakistanis and up to 250 Indian nationals were not allowed to enter Dubai this month and detained at the airport for failing to comply with entry requirements. Immigration authorities interviewed passengers upon arrival, and those who did not have enough money – at least 2,000 dirhams – were returned their proof of residence or a ticket to their home country.

Most of them were workers who came to the UAE on a tourist or visitor visa in search of work.

For now, the UAE will only issue work permits to government or semi-government employees, as well as domestic workers.

Recruiters said the demand for workers in the private sector is high, but it is not worth the “risk” of bringing applicants to the UAE on visitor visas.

“Workers are advised to wait until work permits and work visas are issued again,” said Shiraz Moghal, spokesman for Al Namas, a labor supplier that employs 300 to 400 Pakistanis annually from the Emirates. “Many companies used to bring these workers here on a guest visa and then transfer them on a work visa, but now no one wants to take that risk.”

“The returning workers tried their luck in the hope that they could find work on a tourist visa, but this is the wrong way. We have to wait until the work permits appear again. “

Overseas Labor Supply, an Emirati company that has employed 140,000 workers over the past four decades, has private sector clients demanding workers. “The industry has turned upside down with Covid-19,” said Mohamed Jandran, managing director.

“Work visas have not yet begun to be issued – only state or semi-state, so perhaps these workers will come and take advantage of the [tourist visa] opportunities because they know there is a shortage in the market and this is the main factor.

As soon as Dubai opened visitor visas, it prompted many people to come looking for work. But if you are traveling on a tourist visa, you must be a tourist and you must have the means to support yourself. ” Pakistani Consulate General in Dubai prohibits job seekers from attempting to enter the country on tourist visas.

“We advise our citizens to go through all visa procedures before boarding the plane,” said Jan Chand, Deputy Consul General. The Indian Consulate in Dubai has sent a similar message to its citizens urging them to abide by the emirate’s visa laws.

Indians can take advantage of e-immigration services, an initiative of the Government of India that connects job seekers with employers to find work and get employed.

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