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Why UAE refuses work permit applications from Nigerians


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THE on-going rift between the governments of Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a new dimension as the Arab country has barred Nigerians from applying for work permits and placed visa restrictions on them.

An official at the Ministry of Labour (MOL) in the UAE confirmed that work permits were being regulated in view of precautionary and preventive measures for COVID-19.

The MOL 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.”

However, the new regulation imposed by the ministry seems to target only Nigerian nationals. Director of the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation (UAE) Fernando Judel told The ICIR that the restriction was an internal arrangement restricted only to the ministry, and Nigerians seeking to apply for work permit renewals were barred from doing so.

“We have been having that issue for about a week plus now, where some people would apply for this labour or work permit and it would get rejected. This is only for Nigerian nationality, although over the years, we have been having issues like that and the issue always comes when our people indulge in a profile crime.

“If you want to apply, you would see a display in the dialogue box that it is restricted to this nationality being Nigeria. So the person cannot even apply at all, let alone the ministry receiving the application and rejecting it,” Judel told this newspaper.

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Recent profile crimes allegedly perpetrated by Nigerians in UAE

It was gathered that on June 15, some Nigerian cultists in Sharjah got into a bloody fight that left more than a dozen people dead, according to unofficial sources.

A footage circulated online showed a group of armed with machetes arriving at an apartment complex in Sharjah where they forcefully gained entry into an apartment and attacked its occupants.

Other videos showed the aftermath of the attack: mutilated bodies lying on the floor of a narrow bloodied hallway.

Further investigations revealed that the clash on June 15 coincided with the 58th anniversary of The Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC), also known as the National Association of Airlords, which was formed at University of Ibadan in 1963.

However, a member of the confraternity identified as Habakrier NA Airlord insisted that SEC was not a cult but a socio-cultural brotherhood that believed in the communion of minds and the traditional teachings of the ancient African oratorical practices.

“SEC is not a gang and as such does not engage in gang-related activities. We renounce any forms of violence perpetrated by individuals with nefarious intent within and outside the walls of the Nigerian Ivory Towers as proven by our strategic presence in the National Inter-Frat Council (NIFC) and the SEC initiative of ‘Stop the Confra Wars,’” he said.

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But many do not believe his position, given the perceived violent nature of the group.

Another video has also emerged online of a medical practitioner clad in a personal protective clothing calling out some girls for allegedly killing a local after the cult clash and lamenting how the bad behavior of a few Nigerians was robbing off on the entire black population in the UAE.

“Once you’re a Nigerian, they will be running from you. Hushpuppi own dey. Woodberry own dey. Some Nigerians dey do cultism for Sharjah, that one still dey there. Now some girl go kill local. Now, whether you are a Nigerian or Cameroonian, they are just arresting everybody,” he said in pidgin, a local brand of English spoken mainly in west and central Africa.

He called on all Nigerians to assist the police in fishing out those engaged in nefarious activities so that the innocent and hardworking majority would not be made to pay for the sins of a few.

Visa restriction on Nigerians by UAE

Recent infamous activities of some Nigerians may not be unconnected to the recent rejection faced by Nigerians trying to renew their work permits in the UAE, even though the country’s labour ministry claims the measure was put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Judel said only a few persons who had applied for work permits were able to get them on concessionary grounds, adding that “another category of people that get visas is free-zone companies.” He explained that employees in free-zone companies were not affected by this regulation because free-zone companies dealt directly with the immigration department who issued them visas.

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In addition, he said any Nigerian who had been issued labour or work permit from the ministry of labour by their employer could get their employment visas renewed with ease.

UAE and visa restrictions on Nigerians

However, Judel frowned at the UAE for arbitrarily restricting visas from Nigerians without an official communication.

“Once they indulge in that profile crimes, the UAE would restrict our visa, whether employment or tourist but over the years it has been happening. For the years back, there has been no official statement about our visa restrictions. When they know that they do not have any stand to justify the restriction, they would tag it anything,” he said.

Last July, the UAE imposed a restriction on Nigerian visas after two rival cult groups – The Neo-Black Movement of Africa (also known as BlackAxe) and The Aromate Group (also known as Barggas) -had a clash also in Sharjah, which resulted in casualties, including the number one leader of the Aromate Group.

The UAE at the time denied blacklisting Nigerians from getting visas into the country. The Embassy in Abuja cited precautionary measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus as the reason for the ‘temporary suspension’ of visas.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020,” the Embassy tweeted.

The restriction was eventually lifted in September after Nigeria agreed to allow the operation of Emirates Airlines in Nigeria, which had been suspended due to the pandemic, as disclosed by the Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika.

“UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians.  Consequently, decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria. Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks,” he said via Twitter.

Flight, COVID-19 and diplomatic row

Flights between Nigeria and the UAE have been suspended since March 17 of this year over disagreement relating to COVID-19 testing, which Sirika said was specific to Nigeria.

It is not immediately clear whether the restriction of visas for Nigerians is calculated to compel the Nigerian government to reconsider its position and accept the UAE’s COVID-19 protocol, which Sirika has described as discriminatory and not backed by science.  This has worsened the diplomatic row between both countries.

Many Nigerians think the row could have been responsible for work permit denials.

A Nigerian resident in the UAE who did not want his name mentioned, said things were no longer the same in recent times as many Nigerians were becoming more frustrated with work permit restrictions and ‘ a fallacious labelling of a large number of Nigerians as criminals.’  He said some criminals from other parts of Africa also committed crimes while pretending to be Nigerians, saying that the authorities in the UAE were aware of that reality.



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  1. UAE Government hould heve mercy on innocent Nigerians inside the country by resuming work permit for them. Furthermore we that are in home country (Nigeria) with pending work permit should be allowed to get/finish our work permit so as to resume. Nigeria is not easy for us due to the condition of the country.

    As at March 2020, my work permit ought to have been issued bt due to covid-19 n this work permit restriction, I’m still in Nigeria. Although I’ve collected my pre-permit.

    UAE Government Pls Have Mercy.

  2. I want to believe that Nigerians in diaspora organisation (UAE branch) has visited the ministry of Labour in Dubai in peaceful protest with different placards accepting the wrongs committed by the bad ones amongst and pleading for forgiveness on their behalf. Reminding them of the innocent, committed and law abiding majority one are the ones suffering for the sins of the useless few. They should let them understand that since the ban takes place many homes had been pushed into poverty. They should give them plenty of assurance that Nigerians are not criminals

  3. I want to believe that Nigerians in diaspora organisation (UAE branch) has visited the ministry of Labour in Dubai in peaceful protest with different placards accepting the wrongs committed by the bad ones amongst and pleading for forgiveness on their behalf. Reminding them of the innocent, committed and law abiding majority one are the ones suffering for the sins of the useless few. They should let them understand that since the ban takes place many

  4. This is obviously a scenario of using and dumping people. Whoever that made the law that;
    ” The good ones will also suffer for the crime they didn’t commit” needs a brain reset. This absolutely racist.

  5. Please let UAE government try to visit some companies in UAE we have so many good Nigerias who are working with their company and they visit has expired and they need to renew it back and start their work again, UAE should please let those one to renew their visa they are innocent people like me I am a security guard and my visa will expire this month what can I do… I want to work let Dubai government help us we are not the bad one, I have been in UAE for 5 years and I never committed any crime

  6. I opened the file for my heavy truck license. I have passed the yard and parking tests but since all this started to surface ,they have not even given me a call to resume classes let alone put me in the list for the final road test. I have spent so much money just to stay and live legally in this country. Right now I’m almost frustrated.
    God please help us . Help those who are innocent and hard working. Please UAE GOVERNMENT pls hear the cry of the innocent black men in this country.🙏🙏🙏🙏

  7. Nawa ooo God help we Nigerians, Nigerians always Left a bad record wherever their go so bad and unfortunate, I am processing my Visa to travel this year December I pray that The ban should be lift before that Time and God should guide and protect the innocent Nigerian citizen there

  8. UAE government is the best,we know what our brothers and sisters are doing here,is very bad,but they should consider those who are crime free,who have been working with companies for more than 5 to 10years without any crime or police case,we are pleading on dubai government to please lift the ban on those who are working and issue us work permit,Not all Nigeria are bad,likewise other countries,there are good ones and bad one,they should bring those bad ones to book and punish them and lift the ban on those who are working with sincere heart without any crime,we are pleading, many of us come from a poor families,and our families depends on us for their daily bread,we are pleading to consider the poor one’s

  9. I don’t know when these ban will be lifted ..becos seriously these jus unfair…have jus been told by my owner of my company that no Visa renwal for Nigerians…having crying ..Jus today and I can’t return home now …I have not saved enough ….Visa change is now 2400AED …God what is happening…Am confused …my last hope is to work in Expo 2020 and insha Allah that Amensty to come next year so I can return home ..becos I can’t return home empty handed…its a shame

  10. Pls UAE government have mercy on us Nigeria is not that easy for us pls loft the ban on us release the working permit visa for is this as affect my coming to UAE since last two month now

  11. This is a very horrible situation many of here has been frustrated, my labour finished since March but I couldn’t get any job nor been able to renew because some issues related to some Nigerians and there misbehaviour till now it got worst,
    What kind of thing is this.

  12. It is true that so many Nigerians are misbehaving but i still believe that UAE has a very intelligent officers that can fish out those criminals and send me them back to were they are coming from or send them to prison. Their are Nigerians who are working genuinelyt to help their families and better their life’s please dont let they bad eggs among us deprive us from the country

  13. Please God help us on this situation for over 2 years now my Visa was out but do to flight suspended I still in this nonsense country calls Nigeria,we sick for ur help or Lord

  14. Please God help us on this situation for over 2 years now my Visa was out but do to flight suspended I still in this nonsense country calls Nigeria,we sick for ur help or Lord

  15. Comment: please I beg the father of UAE to please help us out from this problem, some Nigerian came here to work Y some came here to create problem for others please
    UAE government need to forgive all Nigerians and use their security and caught the bad boys and send them back and banned them not to come here again

  16. Please uae governments we beg you help us we are really suffering I just came here two weeks and I got a job but due to work visa issue they say they will not employ me,please we beg you uae government have mercy on us,and Nigeria government should help us

  17. is very obvious that UAE doesn’t need the man power of Nigerian…today I was told by my PRO in charge of Visa..that UAE labor department has closed the renew of Nigerian employment Visa…am sad ..really sad …but when there is life..there is hope …Aluta continuna..but God knows have been of good conduct for the pass 2yrs in these country …but no shaking…everywhere go stew Las Las…one love my brothers and sister

  18. the highest level of frauds I have ever seen is in UAE, where Pakistans, Indias Egyptians, and every Asian countries but especially these 3 countries will form a company and will be collecting big amount of money as a Visa fee from people in the name of giving them a job especially from Nigerians, before you know it they will close the office and run,and government can not do anything about that now tell me what do you think the job seekers will do, to go and die for hunger or to go back to his/her county ?. but if any black commit a crime or fight the news will sprayed everywhere, they will say they are Nigerians while they may not be Nigerians…. so UAE government should stop banning Nigeria nationality from getting work permits because the more they ban us from mol and work permits the same people will commit crimes, this is because if you ban us from getting work permits you are making us to get too much overstay so if we can not pay for overstay and we can not get a job what do you expect?.. since years they have been putting over stay load on our heads and believe me some people can not pay for whatever they call it…apart from Nigerians fighting them Nigerians have not committed the crimes other nationalities are committing in UAE,like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, philistines, Egypt and others….. so they should focus on who ever that commit any crime and let the innocent ones do their job,… this is the truth,,

  19. Uae government should please forgive us, we are really suffering here, without work. I changed my company got a job as nurse buy because of labour I loose the job. Am not the kind of person that like to sit at home, just crying always, feel so helpless Nigerian is not a easy country to go back to.. Uae government should please pity some of us that are good, it’s not all Nigerians that are bad, have been here since 2015 but still don’t have plans to go back.😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭


  21. My contract expired since July 26….. Wanted to renew, they said no, I can’t renew!!! Now they have cancelled me! 😩😭😭 I don’t have no where to go to, no family,no relative, no friend here! Please UAE and Nigeria should settle their problem, there are bad ones we know but pls don’t judge de whole of us as bad we still have genuine ones among us pls God hear our prayer 🙏

  22. My contract expired since July 26….. Wanted to renew, they said no, I can’t renew!!! Now they have cancelled me! 😩😭😭 I don’t have no where to go to, no family,no relative, no friend here! Please UAE and Nigeria should settle their problem, there are bad ones we know but pls don’t judge de whole of us as bad we still have genuine ones among us pls God hear our prayer 🙏

  23. I think this kind of act of uae should stop how can you punished innocent peoples for the crime they are not committed ? This is unfair 😒 I hv similar experience with them back then anyway alihadulihi

  24. Pls nigeria government come out to help us .about of d employment visa .he is to easy how to pay bed space. and feed.my contract alread finish.

  25. Please UAE have mercy on us the innocent ones it’s because of the ban of flights that made my visa expired on 30th july now am planning to do another visa please have mercy and lift the ban on us thanks

  26. Every Nigerians shouldn’t cancel from his or her company for now. If your contracts finished please renew from the same company it’s not hard. This is a trying time for Nigerians in UAE. No matter how small your salary might be in your current company try to renew there. No body knows when the ban will be lifted. Thanks

  27. but I believe it’s not in every state ..becos the crime was committed in Dubai …Dubai and Abu Dhabi placed the suspension…but I am believing its doesn’t affect the rest 5 state…please UAE government thier some good Nigerians…crimes do happen in USA and many powerful countries..do they punish the full citizens..capital No ..that how its done..they fish out the participant of the crime….its even written in the holy book you dont punish other for another man sin …please dont let us go back to our country in shame ..we beg you..please we beg you..😭😭😭😭😔😔😔

  28. In every country, some are good and some are bad, this issue of suspension is affecting the innocent one’s. I believe the UAE have a powerful security system that is able to track down the people who involved themselves in any criminative act. I dont think is a good idea to punish the innocent along with the bad one’s. They should treat it like the case of crate of eggs, where u take off the contaminated one off the crate in order not to throw the whole eggs away. Track the guys who commit the crime and let it not affect the others. Denying Visa will not solve the issues but rather worsen it by punishing the innocent. Please look into this so the innocent one can be free. Just my opinion. Thank u

  29. Hello pls Nigerian government help us and we the Nigerians in UAE let’s try and be of good behaviour as God has given us second chance

  30. Pls Nigerian government pls come to our help . I have been in nigeria waiting for my employer visa for over 8 months now before now this employment visa doesn’t take more than a month to come. Pls is only Nigerians also can advice themselves to behave well this time because I believe God has given us a second chance .

  31. Very bad news. Yesterday my boss took me tassel so as to renew my contract but we were told my contract cannot be renewed because I am a Nigerian. Now, I am preparing to go back to Nigeria. I have been working in uae for the past four years. Where do I start from in Nigeria.

  32. I plead with UAE authority we know that some people are bad and bad behavior but everybody are not the same …I have been here since last year suffering in other to get a job to the extent that I have do Visa change more than three times now.the reason why I keep doing visa change is because I promise my self and my family before coming that I will not go against the law of this country many companies has cheated me do give me many evil behavior but I still stand one the promise that I give to my parents now I have gotten offer from one company that want to train me for bike delivery though am a professional for nigeria but as the law of this country is I most go training I cried everyday even now as I am writing this comment I dey cry because the labour rejected my e_visa … please here our cry 😭😭😭😭 open this ban because the good ones is suffering for what they didn’t commit . May the Alla bless you as you do it for us am here to work In other to support my poor family am here to go against the law of the country please sir here our cry

  33. It’s unfortunate that innocent Nigerians who are the majority in the UAE are passing through hard times despite being hard working focus committed and determined to Excel in there various legitimate occupation careers. I will humbly subject the UAE government and it’s reliable security forces to help safeguard the honest identity of hard working and sincere Nigerians like us who are working tirelessly in our representative companies and will also wish to experience and apply for greater opportunities in a new company. Please, we should never let the sins and punishment for the few lawless ones affect damage the dignity of the innocent and sincere majority who are hard working, committed and law abiding. Thank you

  34. I have been patiently working for this company with a very poor salary and poor treatment for over 7 months now just to fulfill the labor demand of 6 months probation before cancelling with an employer to avoid ban. I pray everyday to get a better paying job cos i’m highly certified by an international body for my job role which cost me a total of 15,000 AED (#1.5m). As God may have it, I’ve got an offer worth 3 times of my present salary but I’m afraid my new employer may not be able to process my visa cos of the restrictions and i would have to cancel from my present job before the new employer gets to try.

  35. Hi, I have been working in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for over four years without any record of crime. I got a job offer from a new company but I was unable to change my visa because of suspension uae g

  36. Thank you I have worked here for 2 good year’s and my company issues me a labour visa and after my contract comes to an end i manage to get another job from another company but labour refuse to grant me an employment Visa am a Nigeria but everybody is not as bad as other people’s i came here to work but government is now denies me a visa


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