Question: I am bringing a maid from my home country to the UAE. She is coming here on a visit visa and will stay with me and my family as I get a maid visa for her. During this transition period, can she take up duties at home? What’s the procedure to get her a maid visa?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, as you intend to recruit a maid to take up your household domestic work, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2021 Regarding Entry and Residence of Foreigners and Federal Decree Law No. 9 of 2022 Concerning Domestic Workers are applicable.
In the UAE, employing a maid without a valid work permit and UAE residency visa is illegal. Any individual indulged in employing a maid without a work permit and UAE residency visa may have to bear a penalty of at least Dh50,000 and up to Dh200,000 per Article 17 (3) (a) of the UAE Domestic Workers Law. The violations include:
“a. provides employment to a domestic worker without obtaining a work permit for the latter.”
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Furthermore, the penalty may also include deportation as per the provisions of UAE Immigration Law as well. This is in accordance with Article 25(1) & (7) of the Immigration Law, which states, “(1) There shall be punishment with a fine of Dh50,000 to anyone who employs, harbours or puts the alien in violation of the provisions of this Decree-Law, and the penalty shall be imprisonment and a fine of Dh50,000 in case of recidivism.
(7) In all cases, the court shall order the deportation of the violating alien, as well as it shall also order the deportation of the alien who has employed him or harboured him upon recidivism.”
Based on the aforementioned provision of law, you may not employ your prospective maid immediately once you bring her from your home country on a visit visa.
Instead, on her arrival to UAE on a visit visa, you may apply for her work permit and UAE residency visa as per the provisions of UAE Domestic Workers Law and the prevailing rules and regulations in the UAE pertaining to employing a maid at your home.
By practice, you, as an employer, are required to fulfil minimum salary criteria, marital status and number of rooms in the apartment or villa where a proposed maid will work.
Furthermore, the provisions of UAE Domestic Workers Law emphasise recruitment of domestic work through government-recognised maid recruitment agencies. The recognised recruitment agencies’ obligations are mentioned in Article 5 of the UAE Domestic Workers Law.
You, as an employer of a maid, need to follow the guidelines and provisions of UAE Domestic Workers Law while employing a maid at your residence. It may include but is not limited to providing the maid with the facilities to perform her duties, providing appropriate accommodation, provision of food and means, clothing if required to perform the duties, timely payment of remuneration, incurring costs related to health insurance, be respectful to the maid and the maid should be allowed to retain her official documents. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the UAE Domestic Workers Law, which states the obligations of the employer/sponsor towards a domestic worker.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.