What is the Absconding Report?
The absconding report ban can be a result of the legal action of reporting an employee as an absconder. Such action is usually taken by the employer against any employee in such cases that the employee may have decided to stop showing up at work, or have left the country without informing his employer for a period exceeding six month. Through my experience I have seen this occurring when an employee commits a crime and decides to flee the country before he/she is detained or when they face financial hurdles through their lives, for example defaulting on a loan, or issuing a check with no sufficient funds and choose to escape the country as the easier resolution to avoid their social or financial obligations. In many other cases, the employee decides unilaterally to quit and leave their job and/or the country with no proper resignation or relevant announcement to the sponsor or the employer to their decision.
In such cases, the employer or the sponsor would have the legal right to submit and register a complaint against the employee in the form of a Report of Absconding, that subsequently results to the subject line immigration ban, to be registered against the employee.
Moreover, the employer or the sponsor has the right to submit the abovementioned complaint against the employee, notwithstanding the current whereabouts of the employee and whether he is still physically inside or outside the UAE, unless the Employee is already out of the country for a period less than six (6) months.
What happens when the Absconding Report is registered?
At the time the report of absconding is registered on the system of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization by the employer or by the sponsor against the employee, one of the below consequences will occur depending on the presence or no presence of the employee inside the UAE:
- In case the employee is inside the country:
- If the absconding report is registered while the employee is still inside the UAE, then a Travel Ban will be issued, where the employee cannot leave the country without clearing the subject of the complaint, this of course will require the consent of the employer or the sponsor withdrawing the complaint and for releasing the said travel ban. In absence of such withdrawal to the complaint, the Immigration Department Police officials will see the ban on the immigration system through all the exit points of the country and they will have to stop the employee at the airport. This of course may result of detention at the Immigration jail and the employee will be transferred to “Alawair Immigration Jail” in order to have the relevant biometrics, finger prints, and eyes scan to prepare the needed documents to be deported off the UAE forever putting his name and identity record into the system as blacklisted “not to enter the UAE for work or tourism again”
- In case the employee is already outside the country:
- If the employee has already left the UAE, such employee will have his name on the blacklist – as a result of the absconding report – where he/she will be denied to enter the UAE again, whether for work or as a tourist. The banned person will simply be denied access to enter the country. This situation remains until the employer or the sponsor agrees – in writing – to withdraw and release such complaint of absconding.
How to lift up the “Travel Ban” associated with the Absconding Report?
- The procedure involves a lot communication, negotiations with the former employer or sponsor to initially divert their decision from punishing the banned employee or to agree and reach a settlement between the conflicting parties in order to get their approval – written consent in the form of a No Objection Letter – to withdraw the complaint.
- The council will have to prepare the relevant application forms, letters and some other paper work to be signed by the former employer, company manager, the Emirati local Sponsor or whoever works as the company’s PRO holding the duly notarized and legalized relevant power of attorney and is able to represent the company before the public authorities and specifically department of Immigration.
- The Counsel will have to pay a few visits to the Department of Immigration at the relevant Emirate where the Absconding Complaint was initially registered and where the employer is resident or the employer company is operating for verification of their requests in terms of the documents needed to accept the withdrawal of the complaint.
- The Counsel will have to pay as well a visit to the Embassy or the political representation of the home country of the banned employee to submit a copy of the Application form with the request for the withdrawal of the complaint.
- The Embassy will have to communicate directly with the Immigration authority to support the application.
The above steps and procedures can take anything from three month and up to six months in some cases, depending on each particular case and the Emirate where the procedures are taking place. Such work to release the report of absconding and lifting up the ban, clearing the name of the person may sound very easy and procedure oriented. However, we have experienced great difficulty negotiating such consents from former employers and sponsors of employees as well as in connection to the steps to be taken at the government authorities and the political representations where it requires quiet very high level of sensitivity and experience to deal with.
The procedure to lift up the ban is kind of lengthily, time consuming and costly. However, it was proven successful if the correct steps and follow ups are made, even if the travel ban or the blacklist is imposed for a long time. We have experience in clearing the name of one of our clients where he had his name on the blacklist for more than 10 years ago. It was not easy but it was accomplished!
Mohamed Salah Shoeib
Elnaggar Legal Advisors Limited