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dubai employment law

Does Your Company Keep Your Passport In UAE?

A passport is not like other IDs, it is an international recognition of a person that proves them to be the national of a certain country which issued the passport. In actual the owner of the passport is the country which issues the passport and is stated on the passport usually.

The mishandling of passports by the human traffickers has remained a matter of great concern. The globally recognized law only allows the passport holder to keep possession of their passports. Other than the passport holder the government of the country which issues the passport is the only authority that can hold the passport they have issued for any of its citizens.

Employer Holding Passport of Employee.

Dubai Employment law opposes employers keeping the passports of their employee. But unfortunately, this does happen. There are concerns shared by many employees with labour lawyers in UAE about their employees holding their passports.  This raises many questions in the mind of people working in the UAE. We will discuss them one by one and tell you where you can find the best advice from UAE labour law consultants.

Is it legally allowed to hold another person’s passport?

No, as per the labour lawyers in Dubai, in 2002 a decree was ruled in the Federal Labour law in coherence with the global laws of immigration. According to this ruling, no one other than the bearer of the passport and the government department of the country that owns the passport is allowed to keep the passport of a person without their will.

According to lawyers in Dubai, the Dubai court labour disputes, in this matter can get employers imprisoned for up to 3 years or a can impose a fine up to AED 20,000 for holding the passport of employees without their will. Both the imprisonment and fine can be imposed together as well.

If an employee is forced to hand over their passport to their employer, they should seek UAE labour law legal advice through Dubai lawyers or law firms in Abu Dhabi.

When and Why Employers Can Keep Employee’s Passport?

Even though it is not preferred, but there are ways where an employer can legally possess the passports of their employees. We all know that in UAE, the employer is a legal sponsor of the people who work under them. For the process to acquire a visa to work and other employment-related requirements, an employer needs to hold the documents including passport of the employee. This is for the purpose of such a process and once completed employees are returns their passports after a visa stamping.

An employer can hold the passport of an employee for a longer period or without any need for any visa process with the mutual agreement. This means if the employees allow their employer to possess the passport with their free will for a purpose like keeping it safe for being an important travel document, then this is legal till the employee has no reservations.

Labour lawyers in Abu Dhabi says that in such cases the employer should commit to return the passport to the bearer whenever it is required or when the employee has to travel. Lawyer in Dubai recommends that if an employee is not willing for their employer to keep their passport, the employer must not keep it.

Where to Register Concerns and Complaints?

If your employee is asking to keep your passport against your will, then you should tell them it is against the law and that you are not comfortable with anyone keeping your passport. They might need it and have a valid reason for any employment process. If there is nothing as such, then, first of all, you should tell them your intention before taking any legal action. Once you claim this then be sure to stand to your ground as you are on the right side of the law. Be sure not to get afraid of the thought that your employer will terminate you from your job for this.

Labour Lawyers in UAE recommend that no one needs to be afraid of losing their job for not letting their employers keep their passport. According to labour laws in UAE no employee can be terminated from their job if they are not willing to submit their passport with the employer.

Once you have decided to take legal action, this is natural that your employer will not be happy about it. Therefore, make sure to get help from the best labour lawyer in Dubai first. Also, under the laws of UAE, it is not specifically defined what department can handle such complaints, yet being against the law you can reach out to the Police, launch a case in UAE Labour court or register an online compliant with Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization (MoHRE).

You can also submit a complaint at the embassy of the country that has issued the passport. They, being the actual owner can legally collect your passport from your employee. If you do not get a response from your embassy in 2 days, then you should launch a complaint at MoHRE thought the nearest TAS-HEEL office. They will assist you to appear in front of MoHRE through an appointment along with your employee to acquire your passport. Other than TAS-HEEL, the legal advocates in Dubai can also help you launch your complaint and get back your passport with saving your labour right.

Law Firms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, UAE

For the best labour law advice Dubai, you can rely on HHS Lawyers and Associates. This is one of the most experienced labour law firms in Dubai, UAE with a team of talented labour lawyers. Be it issues like labour disputes at workplace or Dubai immigration blacklist removal, our expert lawyers are always there for your legal assistance. Do not wait under your fear to practice your labour rights as HHS Lawyers legal experts team has your back.

Hassan Humaid Al Suwaidi., LL.B. is a Senior Partner in HHS Lawyers. He has 20 years of experience dealing with high-value and complex cases. Frequently featured in local and international legal directories and commended for his ability to attain favorable outcomes for clients, Hassan has been involved in some of the largest legal settlements. A major part of his work is providing expert legal advice on UAE legislation and acting for individuals and businesses during disputes and litigation. Read more