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UAE mulls lifting work permit restrictions on Nigerians

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THERE are speculations from the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry for Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) that the restriction on work permits for Nigerian nationals may have been lifted, and Nigerians who previously were denied applications can reapply.

The MOHRE governs all work-related issues and is responsible for issuing work permits (or labour cards) and imposing labour bans “on those who are entitled to one”.


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The speculation emerged on Tuesday even though Emirates direct flights between Nigeria and the UAE remain suspended indefinitely.

Some Nigerians residing in the country have confirmed the news from MOHRE to this newspaper and are optimistic that they will get their expired work permits renewed soon to guarantee their continued stay in the UAE.

However, Tasheel, a government centre in charge of work permit applications under the directive of MOHRE, said they do not have any update yet on the situation when contacted on Tuesday. Previous applications by Nigerians through Tasheel were denied as it said work permit applications were closed to Nigerians when the Government insisted the ban was non-existent.

It is, therefore, not clear whether this is yet another gimmick by the UAE government as applications for a work permit can only be filed through Tasheel, but Nigerians are already taking steps to test this new directive from MOHRE.

The UAE restricted work permits, and visa restrictions targeted only Nigerians since July. More than 300 Nigerians residing in the country lost their jobs and were left stranded and frustrated. Several efforts between both governments to resolve the situation had proved unsuccessful.

In August, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad A. Taffaq, during a meeting with the chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) at his office in Abuja, denied that Nigerians were placed on restriction.

“There has been no official restriction on Nigerians from what I believe as an official position from the UAE. The UAE is a very welcoming country and does not discriminate against any nationality. Everyone is welcome to come, work, and contribute,” he said.

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NIDCOM subsequently, through a letter dated 12th November 2021, urged Nigerians in the country to continue to liaise with the Nigerian Mission at the UAE for advice and clarifications on the work permit restrictions “as we continue to monitor the development”.

A Nigerian Oluwatobi Emmanuel, who recently lost a high-pay job offer due to inability to renew his work permit, told The ICIR, “Until we see an approved work permit issuance to a Nigerian, we can’t authenticate this news”.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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21 COMMENTS

  1. The ban is already lifted since Tuesday 23rd November 2021. Nigerian passport holders application for work permit will be approved. You can confirm by calling MOHRE contact toll free number.

  2. I so much love this beautiful country UAE, but what have you been through over the 10 months now is very hot than hell tough and rough time crying day and night because no any plan of going back to Nigeria because of none stop killing that’s why everyone of us decided to remain here for better life and to save our lives while we continue to pray for our dear family and friends back home, UAE government for the sake of almighty Allah please pardon us our guilty and temper justice on us especially we the innocent Nigerian kindly lift the visa ban on Nigerian citizens and grant us work permit, God bless UAE 🙏❤️🇦🇪and God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria 🇳🇬🙏❤️

  3. When will Nigerian government led by Mohammed Buhari behave like a Nation whose it’s citizens interest is a paramount .

  4. Pakistani India Filipino are all worst than Nigerian dey do their stuff silently but nija will sho off immediately by boasting … See them in train talking on high voice u think dey are fighting …. No no no …

  5. It’s with heavy heart that I plead with the UAE government to come to our as Nigerians who are doing everything legal to work and live in UAE as a safe place to work and live. We hope the UAE government as ever good country will temper justice with mercy on good Nigerians without waiting for our government as lots of us are losing our source of income and livelihood as human being due to this situation. Please UAE government the caring and loving people should please remove this ban

  6. A country that hides under pretense and lies from Government officials to oppress people of a certain group is no better than a country with openly corrupt leaders cos lying is a characteristic of a corruption and bad in the eyes of Allah. The UAE is a corrupt country cowering under the guise of moral superiority and white keffiyehs. Give this people work permits and stop the racist discrimination.

  7. Please, UAE Govt. kindly consider the innocent ones Alot have lost their jobs and some of them are the bread winner of their home. Tamper justice with mercy. Allah blessed UAE.

  8. UAE its a good and safe place to work Nd live. They should tamper justice with Nigerian Nd lift all visa restrictions .

  9. We Don fishing for UAE please UAE government
    Should please do something for the Nigeria’s working here .. because our so called government Don even have plan to resolve the issue.. they’re now focusing on 2023 election please help us

  10. Pleased I’m plead to the governments UAE and as well Nigeria government..for the sake of almighty allah and the innocent people over there…to lifted the ban ,and both country should reconsider, to ensure that everything will go normally as agreement inshallah..may allah bless UAE and Nigeria..thanks

  11. May Allah S.W.T always bless and increases the wealth and peace Of t the UAE because they’re so loving and merciful to all nationalities, they’re just acting to Nigerians that way because of the ignorance of our government, but they should please consider the innocent people for the sake of Allah S.W.T… May Allah bless UAE and turn our country into better place aminnnn

  12. May Allah S.W.T always bless and increases the wealth and peace Of t the UAE because they’re so loving and merciful to all nationalities, they’re just acting to Nigerians that way because of the ignorance of our government, but they should please consider the innocent people for the sake of Allah S.W.T… May Allah bless UAE and turn our country into better place aminnnn

  13. UAE is a blessed country with amenities and blessed leaders not corrupt ones ruling Nigeria.

    Our government should just subject themselves to what UAE demand because UAE is better to stay than Nigeria

  14. UAE is the safest country in the world.A country blessed with good leaders,
    I pray they forgive us for the sake of God.
    God bless UAE…

  15. I was shocked too, but it’s ok. I know it’ll all be ok soon. I just hope Allah continues to protect and provide for those that can’t renew yet

  16. The work permit barn is not yet lifted as of yesterday some of us still try to re-apply but if you call them or go to the tasheel trying to confirm if the barn is lifted they would say yes yes but that’s just what the high official instruct them to say…they hide under lies punishing innocent people

  17. UAE pls tamper justice with mercy, we have seen hell this period, being unemployed for the past four months, you can imagine how difficult it is to feed, go for visa change and still hoping for a turn around pls, help us out we’re dying here

  18. We can’t be continue like this pls
    Let hear good news from reliable source
    God bless UAE, God bless Nigeria ❤️

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