Syrian refugee workers prepare to recycle damaged tents at a workshop of the Norwegian Refugee Council at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, Sept. 15, 2014 - Reuters Syrian refugee workers prepare to recycle damaged tents at a workshop of the Norwegian Refugee Council at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, Sept. 15, 2014 - Reuters

Clean criminal record necessary to work in Jordan, UAE

Sat, Jan. 13, 2018
CAIRO - 13 January 2018: Migrant workers wishing to work in Jordan and the UAE must have clean criminal records from their country of origin before entering either of the two Arab countries, according to new regulations set by the Jordanian and Emirati ministries of labor.

“Starting from this January, a clean criminal record is a must for Egyptian workers and employees to obtain a job in Jordan, and it must be issued from the concerned authorities before leaving Egypt,” stated Egypt’s labor attaché at the Egyptian embassy in Amman, Jordan in his report to Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan.

Saafan asked all affiliated directorates across the nation to assert to all Egyptians seeking jobs in Jordan to obtain an official criminal record and show it when required by the concerned authorities.

Jordanian news agency PETRA revealed in July that a new system for foreign workers was being developed. Foreign workers, not only Egyptians, must also obtain a medical certificate accredited by the medical authorities in Jordan.

On January 8, Saafan stated that he had delivered a notice to his Jordanian counterpart Ali Thaher al-Ghazawi about a protocol signed between the ministry and Jordan's General Security Directorate to simplify the recruitment and employment procedures regarding foreign workers.

Egypt is considering signing other similar protocols with other countries to allow issuing electronic work permits in order to facilitate the procedures and control illegal practices in this regard.

For the Egyptian workers, the Jordanian Labor Ministry has decided to postpone implementation of a proposed sponsorship system until February so that the border crossings will be ready to apply the new mechanism.

“Of the migrant workers in Jordan, 68 percent of them are from Egypt. Egyptians work mainly in the agricultural sector, in construction, in restaurants, or sometimes as cleaners,” said Linda al-Kalash of Daem, formerly Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights in Jordan, in an interview with NAMATI in February 2014.

Linda revealed that the Jordanian government issued a regulation in 2013 regarding the freedom of Egyptian workers to exit and enter Jordan, adding, “If an Egyptian worker wants to go back to Egypt, they are required to get permission from their employer first.”

Eight hundred workers were reported to have been deported from Jordan to Egypt in 2016, while 600,000 workers currently face the risk of being deported at any given minute.

The United Arab Emirates has developed its labor system so that migrant workers seeking jobs in the UAE must first have a clean criminal record to get a work visa, according to a report sent to Safaan from the Egyptian embassy in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The report stated that the criminal record must show the person’s record for the last five years in the residing country and must be accredited by the concerned authorities affiliated to the International Cooperation and Foreign Ministry in Abu Dhabi.

“This decision will be applied on migrant individuals seeking to work in the UAE without their families in their company,” said Egyptian labor attaché in the UAE Yasser Eid.

Eid stressed that the decision will not be applied on tourism or visitor visas, adding, “This procedure aims at achieving more security measures for persons living in the UAE so it will be a land of peace, happiness and comfort for everyone.”

The UAE’s work classification system was amended in the last year, placing more emphasis on workers’ qualifications and skills.
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