UAE Processing Time | Work Visa In Dubai

Your visa or passport is most likely the most important document you’ll have to send across to the UAE Embassy. The embassy will check over your visa or passport before approving your entry into the country. There may be some minor errors they pick up on in your visa application, which could mean your application gets rejected.

The processing time of a visa is the processing time required by the UAE Ministry of Labour to consider and approve an applicant’s application for a visa. The Ministry and its various Embassies, Consulates and Missions worldwide are responsible for considering, examining, rejecting or approving a work permit application, including processing fees. We will base our discussion today on – UAE Processing Time | Work Visa In Dubai. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: new employment visa rules in uae 2022 and uae employment visa processing time 2022

UAE Processing Time | Work Visa In Dubai

UAE Work Visa

Complete guide to obtaining an employment visa and working permit for the UAE and Dubai

In this article

Foreign nationals who want to live in the UAE long-term must have a Residence Visa. In addition, if you want to be allowed to work, you must also have a work permit for the UAE.

However, before everything, you need an employer willing to hire you and start the necessary procedure to procure your employment visa and work permit for the UAE.

The employment visa for Dubai, or any other emirate in the UAE, comes with specific rules ensuring the rights of workers are not violated.

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.

How can I get a Work Permit in UAE?

Your employer has to obtain the work permit on your behalf. It is the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) that’s in charge of issuing work permits for the UAE. The application process for a UAE work permit is:

  1. The employer prints the application for the work permit at the Tas’Heel website, the Ministry of Labour’s online system
  2. They submit the required documents (see below)
  3. The Ministry reviews their application, and asks to resubmit any documents or correct any irregularities they think are necessary
  4. The Ministry issues the approval, which the employer can download from the Ministry website

UAE Work Permit fees

The fees for UAE work permits are as follows:

  • Requesting an initial approval of a new electronic work permit: AED 200 for all categories/levels
  • Approval of the new electronic work permit (the worker’s recruitment, hiring, and their Labour 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 workers over the age of 65: AED 5,000 on all categories

The second category is divided into levels, depending on the ratio of skilled and unskilled workers that the company has.

In most cases, it is your employer who is in charge of covering the UAE work permit costs.

How Long Does it Take to Get a UAE Work Permit?

Upon the complete submission of documents, it usually takes about 5 working days for the Ministry to issue the work permit.

How long is a UAE Work Permit Valid?

A work permit, when you first receive it is valid for 30 days, and can be extended for another 30. This gives you 60 days to remain in the country, during which time you and your employer have to arrange to get a Residence Visa, an Emirates ID, and your Labour Card.

It is the Residence Visa in addition to the Labour Card which allow you to live and work in the UAE legally. UAE Residence Visas are issued for 1, 2, or 3 years, depending on your purpose of travel and the discretion of the UAE authorities.

How Can I Get a UAE Work Visa?

After your work permit for the UAE is approved, it serves as an entry permit, allowing you to enter the UAE on the grounds of employment. This permit is valid for 30 days, and can be extended once, allowing you a maximum stay of 60 days during which time your employer has to arrange your Residence Visa. The UAE Employment Visa procedure starts only after you enter the country.

What is the UAE Employment Visa Procedure?

After you enter the UAE with the approval you received from the MoHRE, your employer has to apply for a Residence Visa for you from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the emirate where you are employed.

Once your application is approved, the GDRFA will affix an Employment Visa (Residence Visa for employment purposes) on your passport, and you will receive an Emirates ID, valid for the same duration as the visa. You will also receive a Labour Card, which informs the authorities you have authorization to work in the UAE.

Below are the websites of the GDRFA in each emirate:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai (see also Amer, a website which Dubai citizens and residents can use to apply for family reunion and visitors can use to extend their Visa On Arrival)
  • Sharjah
  • Ajman
  • Ras Al Khaimah
  • Fujairah

Can You Renew a UAE Work Visa?

Yes, you can. All types of Residence Visas for the UAE are issued for 1-3 years and can be renewed. Your sponsor has to renew your UAE Work Visa within the 30 days before it is set to expire.

The UAE Work Visa renewal procedure is similar to when you first obtained your visa: your sponsor has to apply at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the relevant emirate.

However, your sponsor may also renew your visa after it expires if it is within the UAE residence visa expiry grace period.

Getting a Work Visa for Dubai

Since Dubai is one of the seven emirates making up the UAE, the process for getting a Dubai Employment Visa is the same as in any other emirate. This includes:

  1. You find a job in Dubai (either while you are on a UAE Tourist Visa or through one of UAE’s online job portals and job fairs)
  2. While you are still in your home country, your employer applies for a Work Permit for you
  3. If approved, you use the work permit to enter Dubai
  4. Your employer arranges for you to undergo a medical exam and applies for a Residence Card for employment on your behalf at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. They must do this within 60 days, which is how long the permit is valid.
  5. Your employer arranges for you to receive a Labour Card and Emirates ID Card

How much does an employment visa in Dubai cost?

The cost for a Dubai visa fee is the same as for other emirates in the UAE (detailed above). However, in most cases, it is usually the company that has hired you which pays all the visa fee, and work permit costs.

Employment visa renewal in Dubai

Your employer, who serves as your sponsor, can apply to renew your employment visa for you at the GDRFA in Dubai or an Amre center.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR A WORK VISA IN DUBAI?

Application for Dubai work visa
You can work with a permit in Dubai until your visa is processed

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.

1. Introduction to Working Visa For Dubai: –

Dubai is the city of dreams for a lot of people. According to statistics, as of 2022, 3.48 million people are working in the emirate of Dubai. Migrating to a whole new country is not an easy job; there are multiple things to check off the list before making a move. First is obtaining a work visa if you want to work in the city. Therefore, it is essential for people to know the process of getting a working visa in Dubai.

In the United Arab Emirates, there are multiple forms of visas, but not all types of visas allow you to work in the country.

1.1. Types of visas you get in the UAE: –

Business visa
Remote work visas
Tourist visas
Patient and companion visa
E- visa for GCC residents
Retirement visa for UAE residents
Transit visa
Student visa
If you wish to work in the country, you must hold a residency visa along with a working permit. A person, before coming to the country, need to know a series of information on the visa and visa cancellation process in Dubai. There are immigration lawyers across the country providing employers with adequate and updated information on visa processing.

2. How to get a work visa in Dubai?

The first step to obtain a working visa in Dubai is to find a job in the emirate. Once you get hired by someone genuine, and you have done the background checking, it becomes the responsibility of the employer to provide you with a working visa in Dubai. The employer, after hiring, starts the procedure of the visa because, according to the ministry, the employer becomes your sponsor. Before the employee signs the contract, it is essential he or she knows certain rules and implications laid down the by the labour law in the UAE. A no objection letter for visa is also often required by the agencies, companies.

Once the working permit is issued, the employee can now enter the country with this document and stay in the country for a period of 30 days. Once a person enters the country with a work permit, they are given a 60-day permit to obtain a working visa for Dubai. The employer guides the employee to get a working visa for Dubai. The subsequent steps in order to obtain a working visa for Dubai are the medical screening which involves a chest X-ray to scan for TB type 1 and a blood check to detect any HIV or hepatitis, followed by getting biometrics for the Emirates ID and labour card. Through the immigration authorities in the emirate, the employee applies for a residency visa after submitting all the necessary documents. Finally, the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai stamps the visa. Immigration lawyers across the country are there to help employers and employees navigate through the work visa issue in the UAE. Employers in the country need to consult an immigration lawyer because they help in filing the papers and help in listing down the rules and regulations.

2.1. Difference between residency visa and entry permit: –

In simple terms, an entry permit is a document issued by the federal Authority for identity, citizenship, customs and Ports security which allows expatriates to enter the country and stay for a certain period of time. In UAE there are a few types of entry permits for different purposes, namely- employment, family visit, tourism and transit, medical treatment, and humanitarian purposes.
A Residency visa is issued when the ex-pat has entered the country and started the visa procedure, followed by passing the medical screening to prove that the expat is medically fit. Usually, the residency visa is valid for a year, two years or three years.

Some exceptional minds in the country are honored with the 10-year golden visa and 5 year visa.

2.2. Documents you will need for the visa process:

Passport size photograph
Passport and photocopy
Entry permit obtained from the Ministry of Labour.
Medical screening results
Copy of the commercial license of the company

3. UAE employment visa processing time: –

As of 2022, ideally, if the worker clears the medical screening, the employment visa can be processed within 2- 3 weeks. It took about 10-15 working days for the UAE employment visa processing time in 2017. Back then there were 6 major stages to obtain the employment visa.
Quota approval
Labour office approval
Immigration approval
Online visa
Medical screening and emirates id biometrics

As of the UAE employment visa processing time in 2020, the work permit to get processed takes between two and seven working days.

4. OTHER VISAS YOU CAN WORK WITH?

Student visa- issued to expatriate students who are above the age of 18 years and are residing in the UAE to study in an institution in the country. Students in the UAE with a student visa can work in the country only if they obtain a UAE work permit. According to the law, students are not permitted to work full time and may work up to four consecutive hours.
Remote work visas- with this form of visa, you can work with your existing employer domiciled in any part of the world while living in the UAE. This is a one-year visa and self-sponsored.
Green visa- visa focused on people who can sponsor themselves. freelancers/self-employed people, skilled employees, investors and partners are eligible to apply for the green visa.

connect Legal

Do you want to obtain professional advice from the greatest UAE attorneys? Please, give us a call at +971 43 316 688 if you need more information about this or any other legal topic. Furthermore, you can write us an email at contact@connectlegal.ae and one of our specialists will reach you and answer all of your inquiries.

Finally, if you are looking for the most incredible job opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, go to thetalentpoint.com and submit your CV or resume. The Talent Point is the place where employers and job-hunters meet to find the perfect prospects for them. There, you will find the right job offer that goes according to your experience and qualifications. Do not hesitate and send us an email at contact@thetalentpoint.com, We also provide staffing solutions as we work closely with the clients by catering multiple solutions according to the specific needs all across UAE network. We also provide staffing solutions as we work closely with the clients by catering multiple solutions according to the specific needs all across UAE network.

Danielle Roberts
Danielle Roberts is Head of Operations at Connect Resources. She also advises on and helps manage the legal work of the company having studied Law at John Moore’s University in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Danielle oversees the processes of the company’s various departments and ensures an overall smooth interconnectedness and operation between each in order for the company to function at its highest potential

Leave a Comment