Friday, November 23, 2007

Are you holding a “visit visa” in Dubai?

Dubai is one of the top destinations of Filipino workers, some are holding proper working visa while others are only holding visit visa and they are called “tourist workers”.

The number of Filipinos deployed in Dubai has increasing radically for the past seven years. In 1998, there are 35,485 Filipinos deployed in Dubai, it reaches 49,164 in 2003, 68,386 in 2004 until it becomes 81,707 in 2005. The rapid increase of deployment is because of the booming construction of hotels, office buildings and residences.

More and more Filipinos are going in Dubai to look for a job without proper documents such as working visa. They are fortunate if they were able to find a good quality job, with high salaries and fair labor conditions. If not, they will be forced to accept miserable jobs.

Visit visa could only last for 57 days, and in that span the holder must be able to find a job, if not, they have to renew it in the tourist island of Kish in Iran or wait for their employer to issue a worker visa.

According to a recruiter who takes a visit in Dubai to check the employee that was deployed by their agency, “visit visa” holders are having a hard time finding a job. These findings were proven by the consultant of several Manila-based recruitment agencies Emmanuel Geslani.

Filipino working with visit visa is considered undocumented because they did not go through the recruitment process under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). And as compare to documented workers who are given fair salaries according to their job specifications with free accommodations, they are under paid and do not have free accommodations.

Meanwhile, Dubai is expected to construct 100 new hotels by 2010. Filipinos are warned not to avail “visit visas” at prices ranging from P40,000 to P100,000 offered by travel agencies.

“Thousands of Filipinos have been lured by these travel agencies with their ads and many more are convinced by their friends now working there to fly to Dubai and take their chances in finding jobs,” the recruiter said.

Geslani also said that there were two to three local travel agencies responsible for sending out these “tourist workers.” He also blamed Bureau of Immigration based in Dubai for conniving with the travel agencies in allowing the tourist worker to leave.

This article was first published in on April 30, 2006

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