Expats heading for UAE now need home country police check certificate

Expats heading for UAE now need home country police check certificate

Expats heading for UAE now need home country police check certificate

Strict new security laws will now force expats taking up assignments in the UAE to produce a home country police report proving they have no criminal convictions.

The UAE statement regarding the new law describes the required document as a ‘Good Conduct and Behaviour Certificate’, needing to be provided either by expats’ home country police force or other qualified authorities. According to a lawmaker from the UAE’s Federal National Council, the move is to safeguard the emirates’ national security, with all resident expats applying to renew or get new work visas also expected to produce the document.

Long term residents will be allowed to apply to either Abu Dhabi police or Dubai Police, and sponsored family members as well as tourists will be exempt from the new law, a similar version of which applies to education qualifications and marriage certificates. According to an official, police forces in the USA will provide documents stating the applicant has no criminal convictions, nor has a warrant ever been issued for his arrest. The UK’s National Police Council offers similar proof acceptable by immigration departments and employers.

For expats planning to move to the UAE, once the certificate has been issued it needs to be presented to the home country's UAE Embassy or the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation. The rule comes into force on February 2, and has already attracted controversy, including comments that it’s unworkable. Objections include the UAE’s lack of an efficient national crime database combined with the fact that many world countries themselves don’t have a national record of criminal convictions.

For example, the USA’s system allows even serious crimes to only be recorded on individual state records, making it impossible for American expats to get clearance from all 50 states. In addition, it’s been pointed out that good conduct certificates from certain African countries might well not be worth the paper they’re written on.

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