29th March 2018, updated 3rd April 2018
On 4th February 2018 it became mandatory for a certificate of good conduct to be submitted with all new employment visa applications in the UAE. The purpose of the certificate was to serve as a security check on foreign workers coming to the UAE, safeguarding the country’s national security and ensuring a safe living environment. However, on 1st April 2018, the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE) announced that this requirement is currently cancelled.
It is understood that this is a temporary measure due to complaints from companies struggling to process visas in good time. It is further understood that the Ministry is talking with the overseas providers of the certificates in relation to speeding up the process.
In the meantime, some Embassies are still urging people to apply for the certificates, so that they have them ready for the time when the requirement is re-introduced to ensure a speedy and smooth visa application.
Rules for Certificates of Good Conduct for persons changing jobs in the UAE
- For persons changing jobs and not leaving the UAE between jobs a certificate of good conduct is not required.
- For persons changing jobs and exiting the country between jobs, a certificate of good conduct is required to process the new visa.
Rules for Certificates of Good Conduct for persons who have been resident in the UAE for over five years
- The certificate of good conduct can be obtained from the police in the respective Emirate where they resided.
Rules for Certificates of Good Conduct for persons who have NOT been resident in the UAE for five years
- The certificate of good conduct should be obtained from from the respective jurisdiction(s) where the person has resided during the previous five years.
- The certificate requires authentication in the UAE Embassy and/or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the respective jurisdiction(s). Once the certificate arrives in the UAE, it should be authenticated at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in the UAE.
- If the certificate is not in English or Arabic, it will need to be translated into either of these languages.
- The certificate is valid for 3 months.
Exclusions for the Certificates of Good Conduct
Certificates of Good Conduct are not required in the following circumstances
- Dependents visas
- Tourist visas
- Student visas
- Medical visas
- Mission visas
- Residents born and raised in the UAE
How to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in Abu Dhabi
Also known as a Police Clearance Letter, the Certificate of Good Conduct can be applied for by residents by downloading the Abu Dhabi Police App, inserting the required information and paying the fees, currently AED53 for Arabic and AED120 for English. It will be emailed or posted.
How to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in the UK
To obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in the UK it is necessary to apply to the ACRO Criminal Records Office. They will issue a certificate detailing whether or not there is a criminal record in the UK. It may also include any foreign criminal history. A standard application currently costs £45 + delivery and take 10 days whilst a premium application will cost £80 + delivery and take 2 days. The certificate should then be attested at the UAE Embassy in London (as per your education certificates). More information can be found at: https://www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx
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Jenny Hunt, CEO Gateway Group of Companies