Legal Voice

If I have an employment contract for a certain period of time and I resign before my contract expires, can my employer charge me for the work visa and government related fees? No, the employer is not allowed to charge you for work permit/visa fees , but they have the right to sue for damages ( As a result of the breach – or premature cancellation of a time-specified contract ).

  • Employees should report the legal violations (with supporting documents as evidence) to LMRA as well as lodge a formal complaint at the Ministry of Labour, if employers are forcing them to pay for their work permit/Work Visa and related expenses, then inform LMRA of the MOL’s case number.
  • Although the employer is fully responsible for the visa and travel expenses, this does not mean that the employer cannot claim other damages against the employee at the Ministry of Labour, or at the court of law in case the employee did not fulfill his contract terms, resulting in financial losses to the employer. Employers can also claim other incurred expenses (not including LMRA fees, ticket or other government expenses), but those expenses or losses must be proven by documents. Both the employer and the employee can reach an amicable agreement on that, otherwise this should be submitted as a complaint case at the Ministry of Labour or at the court of law only they can decide who is supposed to pay who, and how much is that payment going to be (Without a court resolution or a mutual agreement, this should not be automatically or arbitrarily deducted from the employee’s dues, as the employer may wish to do so!)

I am working in a job role different from what’s on my CPR or my work permit/work
visa, I want to update my occupation on LMRA’s system. How do I go about it?
The decisive element in this case, is the work permit. Both employer & employee should not violate the conditions of the work permit (in accordance with article 23 of Act No. 19 for 2006). Both employer and the employee are restricted and fully prohibited from violating the conditions of the work permit , employers should not assign work or allow the employee to work in any other different job apart from the one mentioned in the valid work permit. If they do that they will be subject to the penalties specified in Article (36) of the same Act. Also note that the CPR card
is not a work permit. The employer can simply apply for a change or update of the profession/occupation in the work permit/ work visa through LMRA’s EMS system.
Generally speaking, having a different job title from the actual job role in the CPR was quite common for similar jobs in the past example: “Accountant” and “Tax Accountant” or “General Accountant”.

Please note that there are heavy penalties on both the employer and the employee in case of work permit violations, the responsibility is shared between them and they will both be considered as violators of the law. If employees see that their actual job role is different from what is on their work permit, they should ask their employer to correct this situation by applying for occupation change with LMRA, if the employer refuses to do so; employees should report the case to LMRA in order to clear their part.