Expatriates working in the UAE need to have a valid work permit and work visa to legally be employed in the country. Individuals who are in the UAE on a work visa don’t require additional residence visas. The work visas allow you to legally reside in the country for the stipulated period. Here is how you can get a Dubai work visa and permit.
One of the key things to understand about working in the UAE is that the work visa or employment permit is provided by the employer. As an employee, you don’t apply for such visas or permits on your own.
Once you find that perfect opportunity, it’s time to move on to the second step.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) issues work permits in Dubai. Your employer has to apply for this permit, which is then converted into a valid residency visa. Once you get the residence visa, the work permit allows you to enter the UAE and work there. This permit is valid for two months. During this time, your employer will have to arrange formalities like medical testing, Emirates ID, Labour Card and residency visa.
The residency visa primarily is a clear piece of evidence that you are sponsored by the organisation and that it has paid for your work permit, medical testing and Emirates ID.
Once you receive your residence visa, you can sponsor your family and bring them into the country. This includes single mothers as well. In addition, men sponsored by wives in UAE can also get a work permit.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A WORK VISA IN DUBAI?
Three conditions decide whether or not expats need a Dubai working visa. You’ll need one if:
- You have been hired while you are still in your country
- A job opportunity comes up when you are in Dubai on a visit visa or tourist visa
- You are already working in Dubai and want to switch companies
In the first instance, MoHRE and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation have set up centres outside the country to facilitate this process.
In the second instance, you can obtain your Dubai work permit by exiting the UAE. You don’t necessarily have to fly back home. Airlines such as Air Arabia and FlyDubai offer you a ‘visa run’ facility in which you can stopover at a neighbouring country (such as Oman) till you obtain a work permit in Dubai.
The hiring company can also avail of the ‘Change Status’ process by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDFRA) in Dubai. In this scenario, you do not have to leave the country to obtain the work permit in Dubai.
In the third instance, you also get a new work permit to join a new company. As per Article 1 of Ministerial Decree No. 766 of 2015, an employee whose contract was terminated because of expiry of contract is eligible for a new work permit in Dubai, provided they are able to secure a new career opportunity.
UAE Employment Visa Rules
To be allowed to work in the UAE, you as well as the company hiring you must fulfill the following conditions:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- The license of the company hiring you has to be valid
- The company must not have any violations
- The work you do must correspond to the nature of the company hiring you
Who is Eligible for a UAE Work Visa?
Any foreigner who is over the age of 18 can work in the UAE, provided that they meet the standards set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). There is no maximum age for who can be employed in the UAE, but for workers over the age of 65, the company pays a higher fee.
Foreign workers are divided into three categories, based on their academic qualifications/skill sets:
- Category 1: If you have at least a bachelor’s degree
- Category 2: If you have a post-secondary diploma in any field
- Category 3: If you have a high school diploma
What documents do I need for a UAE employment visa?
When applying for an employment visa for UAE, you need several supporting documents, such as:
- Your original passport along with a copy of your passport
- A passport-size picture, in line with UAE requirements
- Copies of your academic qualifications. Your qualifications have to be authorized by the UAE Embassy or consulate in your country as well as from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
- Medical certificate, issued by a government-approved health center in the UAE.
- Documents from the company hiring you, such as the commercial license of the company or the company card
As per the new employment visa rules in UAE for 2018, a certificate of good conduct is not required, until further notice.
We have been assisting individuals, companies and small business owners from all over the world to obtain their work visa in Dubai and UAE. Our well-developed network of consultants and officers based in Dubai will ensure your successful entry into the UAE. We provide assistance for those who are unable to visit the Consulate personally by guiding them through a process of completing required documents online to be submitted to our team for processing. We provide guidance for individuals or corporate clients with challenges such as time constraints, language barriers or other issues.