UAE: Diversity Requirement for Work Visas in Hiring Practices

Several UAE companies face challenges in obtaining work visas for potential employees from specific South Asian countries, prompting viral claims that the UAE has temporarily halted visa issuance for Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis.

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UAE Promotes Workforce Diversity Amid Visa Allocation Concerns

However, visa experts and authorities refute such claims, clarifying that the issue revolves around promoting demographic diversity in hiring rather than targeting specific nationalities.

Clarification from authorities

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has mandated establishments to allocate the first 20% of available visa quotas to different nationalities to ensure diversity. This policy aims to enhance workplace diversity and is not specific to particular nationalities.

Companies encountering the "achieve diversity" message during visa applications are advised to consider hiring employees of different nationalities to meet diversity requirements. The MoHRE emphasizes that this practice applies universally and is not directed at any specific nationality.

Contrary to social media claims, the authorities have not halted visa issuance for Indians, Pakistanis, or Bangladeshis. The MoHRE's stance is clear: the diversity policy is part of a broader initiative to foster inclusivity in the workplace.

Firosekhan, managing director of Profound Business Service, shared an experience where obtaining a visa for an Indian applicant at a company with a diverse workforce was successful. However, attempts to obtain a visa for a candidate at a workplace where Indian employees predominate led to the "achieve diversity" message.

Impact on Workforce Classification

Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service, highlighted the UAE's emphasis on introducing diversity to workplaces. Many UAE companies, he noted, have a significant number of employees from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Consequently, these companies may face restrictions in applying for new visas for individuals from these countries to ensure a balanced and diverse workforce.

In 2022, the MoHRE introduced a three-tier classification system, where achieving diversity in hiring contributes to obtaining a higher classification with associated benefits such as discounts on work permits and transfer fees.

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