UAE Work Visa

UAE Work Visa

Foreign nationals planning to establish long-term residence in the UAE require a Residence Visa. Additionally, if you intend to work in the UAE, obtaining a work permit is essential. To initiate this process, you must secure employment with a willing employer who will facilitate the necessary procedures for obtaining your employment visa and work permit in the UAE.

Employment visas in Dubai and other UAE emirates adhere to specific regulations designed to safeguard the rights of workers and prevent any violations.

UAE Work Visa

Rules for UAE Employment Visas

To work in the UAE, both you and the hiring company must meet these conditions:

  1. You must be of legal adult age, typically 18 years or older
  2. The hiring company’s license must be valid.
  3. The company should not have any violations.
  4. Your job must align with the company’s nature of business.

Who Qualifies for a UAE Work Visa?

Any foreign individual aged 18 and above can work in the UAE, subject to meeting the criteria established by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). The UAE does not impose a maximum age limit for employment, but for workers aged 65 and above, the company incurs additional fees.

Foreign workers are categorized into three groups based on their educational qualifications and skill sets:

Category 1: Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Category 2: Possessors of a post-secondary diploma in any field.

Category 3: Individuals with a high school diploma.

What Are the Criteria for a UAE Employment Visa?

When applying for a UAE employment visa, you will need several supporting documents, including:

  1. Your original passport and a copy of your passport.
  2. A passport-size photograph that complies with UAE requirements.
  3. Copies of your academic qualifications, which must be authenticated by the UAE Embassy or consulate in your home country as well as by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
  4. A health certificate provided by an officially authorized UAE healthcare facility.
  5. Documents from the company employing you, such as the company’s commercial license or company card.

Please note that as of 2018, a certificate of good conduct is not required for UAE employment visas, unless further notice indicates otherwise.

UAE Work Visa

How to Secure a Work Permit in the UAE?

Your employer is responsible for securing your work permit in the UAE. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is the authority that grants work permits in the UAE. The process to obtain a UAE work permit involves the following steps:

  1. Your employer initiates the work permit application through the Tas’Heel website, the Ministry of Labour’s online system.

  2. They provide the required documentation (details below).

  3. The Ministry reviews the application and may request additional documents or corrections if needed.

  4. Upon approval, the Ministry issues an approval document, which your employer can download from the Ministry’s website.

Fees for a UAE Work Permit

The costs associated with UAE work permits are as outlined below:

  • Applying for the initial approval of a new electronic work permit: AED 200 for all categories/levels.
  • Confirmation of the new electronic work permit (including worker recruitment, hiring, and Labor Card):
    • Category 1: AED 300.
    • Category 2:
      • Level A: AED 600.
      • Level B: AED 1,500.
      • Level C: AED 2,000.
    • Category 3: AED 5,000.
  • For foreign employees aged 65 and above: AED 5,000 across all categories.

In most cases, it is your employer who covers the UAE work permit costs.

UAE Work Permit Processing Time

After submitting all required documents, the Ministry typically processes the work permit within 5 working days.

What is the Duration of a UAE Work Permit?

A newly issued UAE work permit is initially valid for 30 days, with the option to extend it for an additional 30 days. During this 60-day period, you and your employer must arrange a Residence Visa, Emirates ID, and Labour Card. The Residence Visa, along with the Labour Card, enables legal residence and work in the UAE, typically issued for 1, 2, or 3 years based on your travel purpose and UAE authorities’ discretion

How to Obtain a UAE Work Visa?

After your UAE work permit is approved, it acts as an entry permit, granting you entry into the UAE for employment purposes. This initial permit is valid for 30 days, with the option to extend it once, allowing a maximum stay of 60 days. During this period, your employer must initiate the process for your Residence Visa. The official UAE Employment Visa procedure begins after your arrival in the country.

What is the Procedure for Obtaining a UAE Employment Visa?

After entering the UAE with approval from the MoHRE, your employer must initiate the process of obtaining a Residence Visa for you through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the respective emirate where you work.

Upon approval, the GDRFA will stamp an Employment Visa (Residence Visa for employment purposes) in your passport. You will also be issued an Emirates ID, valid for the same duration as the visa, as well as a Labour Card that signifies your authorization to work in the UAE.

Here are the GDRFA websites for each emirate:

Abu Dhabi
Dubai (also, consider Amer, a website for Dubai citizens and residents for family reunion applications and Visa On Arrival extensions for visitors)
Ras Al Khaimah

Is it Possible to Extend a UAE Work Visa?

Yes, UAE Work Visas are renewable. They are initially issued for 1-3 years and can be extended. The renewal process involves your sponsor applying for an extension at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the relevant emirate. Your visa can also be renewed after it expires if it falls within the UAE residence visa expiry grace period.