DUBAI AS TOP DESTINATION
Dubai is one of top destinations of Filipino workers and one of the alternative ways is coming to UAE on visit or tourist visa and search for employment. A practice, which is in violation of the deployment procedures of the Philippine government and the labor laws of UAE.
Some Filipinos coming to UAE on visit visa are fortunate to find quality job with high salaries and fair labor conditions but some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude such as excessive work hours without pay, unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse.
AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT AS A TOOL
As an effort of Philippine government to protect its people and curb human trafficking and to ensure someone is responsible for its citizen (holding tourist or visit visas) during the stay in UAE, a new travel regulation initiated by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and implemented on August 14, requires all expatriates sponsoring their family and friends to secure a declaration of sponsorship or affidavit of support notarized at the Philippine Embassy / Consulate. The tightening of airport screening of departing tourists and visit visa holders is also coupled with the deployment of new sets of immigration officials manning all international airports of the country as part of the intensified campaign of Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) in Manila.
As there is no official announcement in the website and bulletin boards of Philippine Embassy /Consulate in the UAE regarding the requirements for the affidavit of support, the following is provided as per information collected from people who recently applied for affidavit of support.
1. Duly filled Affidavit of support form (2 copies)
2. Copy of Passport and visa page of sponsor. (2 copies)
If the visa sponsorship is by travel agency, aside from passport copy and visa page of the guarantor, salary certificate (2 copies) is also required
3. Passport copy of the visitor (2 copies)
4. Copy of the entry visa (2 copies)
5. 100 AED as processing fee
6. 15 AED optional if document will be delivered by Empost
It is advisable to clearly mention what is the relation of the guarantor to the visitor to avoid rejection of the application. If the guarantor is not a relative of the visitor such as company or friend, application will require approval of the Consul General.
Processing of the application will take 10 working days and the office is open for application at 8:30 a.m and the cut-off time is 3:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday only. Click here for the location map of Philippine Embassy in Dubai.
With the new process, the Consulate uncovered illegal activities by some Filipino workers who sponsor friends, relatives and even strangers in exchange for a fee. Lot of illegal travel agents are also discovered. Some Filipinos supported the move but some consider the new requirement as a burden and just another money-making scheme by the government.