Deportation from the UAE

24 May 2022

The UAE is one of the countries in the Middle East popular for tourism as well as for employment. Every year people from different countries come to the UAE for spending vacations and as well as to find jobs in its Emirates. The best part of working in the UAE is that an individual is not needed to pay any type of government taxes, which is a standard practice in most countries around the world. While there are huge benefits to finding a job and becoming a resident of the UAE, it is more important to know that even a slight contempt or violation of the law will lead to detention and worse, deportation. The UAE takes its laws and rules seriously and anyone found to be violating the laws and rules will be punished severely. Therefore, it is significant to know everything about expulsion from the UAE.


Types of deportation

Two types of deportations are practiced in the UAE. One is judicial deportation and the other is administrative deportation. Judicial deportations are issued by an order of the court, whereas administrative deportation is issued by the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority.


Judicial deportation

Legal deportation is declared by court order against an expatriate sentenced to prison for a crime. Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 on the UAE Penal Code, as amended by the Federal Law Number 34 of 2005 and further amended by Federal Decree Number 7 of 2016 contains provisions under which any competent court having jurisdiction may render judgment resulting in a deportation order. Article 121 of the Penal Code provides that any foreign national accused of committing a crime punishable by custodial punishment or any crime related to sexual assault shall get deported from the nation. In addition, in any misdemeanor cases, the court has the power to expel the accused from the nation and this expulsion will be considered as an alternative to a detention sentence. According to Article 325 of the UAE Penal Code, any person who breaks the principles of religious beliefs and rituals may also be prosecuted and deported after serving the prescribed sentence.

The recent amendment to Article 121 of Decree Number 4 of 2019 dealt with an exception from the deportation from the country if the expatriate is accused of being a spouse or first degree relative to the citizen. In such cases, the culprit can only be expelled if he commits a crime that endangers the security of the country.


Administrative deportation

The Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority are recognized for ordering the administrative deportation of an expatriate over ethics and public safety. However, this expulsion can be waived by submitting a request to the Directorate general for Residence and Foreign Affairs in the concerned emirates. The legitimacy of the decision stems from Ministerial Decision Number 360 of 1997 regarding the provision for the implementation of the revised Law Number 6 of 1973 on the residency of the expatriates. The appropriate decision allows the prosecutor or his legal representative to issue deportation against a foreign national, even if he or she has a valid resident visa or employment permit and that order should be given in the interest and safety of the public. It is significant to note that any order of administrative deportation issued by a competent authority will include the expulsion of his or her family members who are living at his or her expense.

According to Article 4 of Federal Decree Number 3 of 2017, the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority has the power in all jurisdictions over matters relating to nationality, passport, entry, and exit of foreign citizens. To accomplish the objectives the authority has exclusive rights to exercise this authority.

The law allows the competent authority to issue an order of administrative deportation and at the same time to extend the post-release extension period for expatriates who wish to resolve the case. The competent authority shall determine the period within which it must issue an award and shall not exceed three months. 


Lifting Deportation

An order of Administrative Deportation can be lifted only if the expatriate request in writing permission from the Ministry of Interior, under Article 28 of Federal Law Number 6 of 1973 on the entry and stay of the expatriates. For the permit of entry and visa, an expatriate shall apply before the Naturalization and Residency Administration authority who shall receive such applications through the Immigration lawyers of the expatriate. All information regarding the previous residence permit, the reason for deportation, and the circumstances that happened thereafter should be stated in the relevant application. The request must also contain the reason for the permission to re-enter the country as well as the supporting documents.

If an expatriate is prosecuted with judicial deportation, he or she can submit a request to the public prosecutor instead of withdrawing the order issued against them. The application must include the reason for submitting such a request as well as documents to support the request. After receiving the request, the public prosecutor shall refer the application to a special committee to pass a judgment and to determine whether the order of deportation should be lifted or not. 


Expatriates will be considered blacklisted if they are restricted from entering or leaving the country because of an offense they had committed or any civil liability, as authorized by the executive provisions of Law Number 6 of 1973. Expatriates will be restricted from entering a country in any of the following cases:


  • People who committed crimes and were expelled,
  • Deportation by the Ministry of Interiors
  • Whose activities are registered with the International Criminal Cooperation Bureau,
  • Expatriates who are suffering from HIV AIDS,
  • Individuals who are deported by any GCC country. 


Whereas people are banned from leaving the country if:

  • A criminal case is registered against him,
  • A criminal investigation by a public prosecutor is undertaken against him 
  • Anyone is unaccountable to pay funds to the government of the UAE.


The request to remove the name from the blacklist must be filed under the Ministerial Resolution Number 360 of 1997 and Law Number 6 of 1973 on the entry and stay of the expatriates. And the individuals must apply before the public prosecutor or before a competent criminal court to have their name removed from the blacklist and to go abroad.