UAE is a pool of legislation which governs every aspect of citizens' life residing in the country, ensuring peace and harmony. With the presence of numerous laws, individuals, particularly foreign nationals, must keep up with every law in order to be eligible to stay in the country. However, it may seem strenuous to understand several legal terms and their concept laid down under these laws. One such term is 'Deportation' which is one of the reasons for ruckus among expatriates. The present article, directly from the practical experience of Criminal Lawyers of Dubai, will discuss the varied reasons for deportation in UAE.
Deportation is an authority granted to the government to order a foreign national to leave the country immediately. An order for deportation can arise in several circumstances, and the most common include the lack of legal right to stay in the country and secondly, upon committing a serious criminal offence in the territory. The deportation order is mostly considered as a punishment for those who fail to adhere to the laws of the country in which they are residing. In almost all the countries, the order for deportation can only be passed against foreign expatriates, and local citizens are exempted from such punishment. In order to preserve the peaceful and secured status of UAE among other nations, UAE government strive to maintain such status by promulgating strategies which can keep up high security and compliance among citizens. Deportation order will be issued against any individual who will try to jeopardize the safety and welfare of citizens in UAE.
Categories of Deportation
Legally, there are two categories of deportation practised in UAE which includes legal deportation and administrative deportation. Wherein, the former is through an order of the court and the latter is issued by the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority.
Any order for deportation issued by the competent court against any foreign expatriate who is charged with a crime involving custodial punishment. Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 regarding UAE Penal Code as amended by Federal Law Number 34 of 2005 and further amended by Federal Decree Number 7 of 2016, hereinafter referred to as the Penal Code, provides for provisions under which any relevant court can pass a judgment entailing a deportation order. Article 121 of the Penal Code, states that any foreign expatriate accused under felony punishable with custodial punishment or any crime involving sexual assault shall be deported from the country. In addition to this, in any offence of a misdemeanour, the court is empowered to expel the accused from the country, and that expulsion will be treated as an alternative punishment for imprisonment.
Furthermore, pursuant to Article 325 of the Penal Code, any individual who violates the principles of religious creeds and rites can also be charged for deportation, post serving the requisite penalty.
Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship is recognized to order for administrative deportation against a foreign national in lieu of public safety, security and morals. However, this deportation can be removed by submitting an application before General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in the respected Emirate. The legality of decision flows from Ministerial Decision Number 360 of 1997 regarding the executive regulations of Law Number 6 of 1973 on the residency of foreigners as amended. The relevant Decision, authorizes the public prosecutor or his legal representative to issue an order for deportation against an expatriate, even if she/he holds a valid resident visa or work permit, should that order be passed in the interest and safety of the public at large. It is important to note that, any administrative order for deportation passed by the relevant authority may also include deportation against the members of his family, dependent on him.
Additionally, Article 4 of Federal Decree Law Number 3 of 2017, Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority possess powers in all jurisdictions in relation to matters pertaining to nationality, passports, entry and exit of foreign nationals. The authority has the exclusive right to exercise such authority in order to accomplish its objectives.
The law authorizing the Authority to pass an administrative deportation order simultaneously grant a grace period post issuing bail to the foreigners who wish to settle the matter. The authority will define the period within which he must resolve and which shall not exceed beyond three (3) months.
Can the Deportation order be lifted?
An administrative deportation order can only be lifted if the foreigner seeks written permission from Ministry of Interior, pursuant to Article 28 of Law Number 6 of 1973 regarding entry and residence of foreign nationals. The foreigner shall submit the application before Naturalization and Residency Administration authorized to receive such applications through legal representatives for entry permits and visa. It is pertinent to highlight all the information regarding the previous residency permit, reasons for deportation and circumstances occurred thereafter in the concerned application form. The application shall also include justification for allowing re-entry in the country along with supporting documentation.
On the other hand, if a foreign national is charged with legal deportation, he may submit a request before the public prosecutor in lieu of cancelling the order passed against him. The application shall entail the reasons for submitting such application along with the documents supporting his request. Upon receiving such application, the public prosecutor will transfer the request to a special committee to pass a decision and determine if the deportation order should be lifted or not.
It is always advisable to reach out to the best criminal lawyers in Dubai, who can assist in drafting such application for either removing the administrative deportation or legal deportation, as these applications if submitted properly, may lift the deportation order.
What if Blacklisted?
A foreign national will be considered as blacklisted if he/she is restricted to enter or leave the country due to the offence committed by him or any liability under civil law, as authorized under Executive Regulation of Law Number 6 of 1973. Foreign nationals will be restricted to enter the country in any of the following circumstances:
- Who committed crimes and were deported;
- Deported by Ministry of Interior;
- Whose activities have been recorded in International Criminal Cooperation Department;
- Foreign nationals who were suffering from HIV AIDS;
- Those who are deported by any country in GCC.
Whereas, individuals are restricted to leave the country if:
- If a criminal case has been registered against him;
- If a criminal investigation is undertaken by the public prosecutor;
- Any person is liable to pay funds of UAE government.
An application for lifting the name from the blacklist shall be submitted in accordance with Ministerial Resolution Number 360 of 1997 and Law Number 6 of 1973 on Entry and Residence of foreigners, by the individuals who are restricted to enter the country. Whereas, individuals must file an application either before the public prosecutor or the competent criminal court in order to lift the name from the blacklist and to travel outside the country. In all the cases above, a legal consultancy from UAE Law Firm is advised and suggested.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.