Work Permits and Visas in the United Arab Emirates

Because of the large salaries and the many places to work, life in the UAE seems like a pretty good deal for professionals. People from very different backgrounds come to the UAE in addition to the not-inconsiderable salaries it offers. Tax-free living is another attraction; it also reportedly provides a good standard of living. How to overcome this first hurdle is understanding the UAE employment visa rules.

Getting a residency visa and work peĀ­rmit processes is important. It helps you stay legal and avoid any problems wheĀ­n changing jobs. The UAE labor law protects workers and eĀ­mployers. Following the law can bring good things in this growing and busy place.

Understanding Work Permits and Residence Visa in the UAE

ForeigneĀ­rs who work in the United Arab Emirates haveĀ­ visa requirements and rules to follow. Each permit or employeeā€™s work visa has its own rules. TheĀ­ rules match the past standards set by theĀ­ UAE government sector. TheseĀ­ standards say what foreigners must do to live and work in theĀ­ UAE.

What is a Work Permit?

Most UAE-based companies and businesseĀ­s in the United Arab Emirates can eĀ­mploy workers from abroad. They geĀ­t their workers a labor company card and a companyā€™s commercial liceĀ­nse. After that, the foreĀ­ign workers can get jobs in private sector. Some foreign workers comeĀ­ through agencies hired by companieĀ­s. Other foreign workers geĀ­t work visa sponsored by the companies. TheĀ­ companies handle getting theĀ­ work permits for these workeĀ­rs. A work permit is needeĀ­d to get uae residence visas. This is how the UAE manages theĀ­ employment of foreign affairs, workeĀ­rs and makes it legal.

Difference Between Work Permit and Visa

A function is a major distinction between a work permit in the UAE embassy and a Visa. A labor card, or employee’s work permit, is issued by MOHRE for lawful employment in the UAE.

A work visa, on the other hand, works like an admission ticket-permitting entry into and exit out of a country, as well as a temporary residence visa inside its territory if one so desires it. When a worker receives a work permit they also usually receive a residence Visa, which allows them to live in the UAE.

Applying for Work Permits and Visas

If people want to work in the UAE, they have to pay attention to work permit and work visa applications. These protocols are carefully structured to ensure that all UAE expats comply with local immigration and labor rules, so as to make integration in the workforce smooth.

How to Get a Work Permit

You need the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in Abu Dhabi to pre-approve you first before you can get a work permit and residence permit. Moreover, application forms for work permits should include an employeeā€™s copy of their passport and academic certificates preceding. For those who are planning to work in the UAE, they should undergo a physical examination.

How to Get a Work Visa

Getting a job in theĀ­ UAE requires proper work peĀ­rmits and visas. A visa from an eĀ­mployer is usually needeĀ­d for a work visa permit. To get the peĀ­rmit approved, unemployed UAE citizens should send in a passport photo that looks like theĀ­ one inside their passport. Mail this photo along with the approveĀ­d work permit to UAEā€™s immigration authority.

Employees must take a medical examination and provide their biometric data. In the end, employees go through these steps, and a residency and employment sticker is placed on the passport of each employee who has successfully visited the UAE to avoid visa frauds.

Documents Required

The following documents are generally required to apply for both a work permit and a UAE work visa :

  • Valid passport with at least six months validity.
  • Passport-sized photographs.
  • Authenticated high school diploma holders and professional qualifications.
  • Medical clearance certificate and health insurance.
  • Employment offer letter or valid employment contract approved by MOHRE.
  • Biometric information.

These supporting documents must be duly attested where applicable, and translations may be required for non-Arabic documents.

Types of Employment Contract and Visa

The UAE offers many types of employment permits and visas, each one designed to meet different career objectives and work situations exactly.

This understanding can help future employees (and the domestic helpers that are hiring them) negotiate the application process itself more efficiently ā€“ and in accordance with United Arab Emirates regulations.

Employment Entry Visa and Work Visa

Issued to expatriates who obtain a job through a company in the UAE, the employment Visa directly depends on the employment contract, and it is usually sponsored by you. The UAE employment visa entitles the holder to enter the UAE and begin working and also serves as a prerequisite for the renewal of the entry permit.

On the other hand, the UAE work Visa, which is often called in practice a UAE residence visa permit obtained through labor, grants its holder the right to live and work in the UAE for as long as they have a job here.

The UAE work visa is more general than a UAE employment visa. It refers to all forms of residency based on working rather than just an entry visa, which forms one category among several different kinds of visas available today.

Other Types of Work Permits

The UAE issues various types of work permits to accommodate different employment arrangements:

  • Temporary Work Permit: Issued for short-term employment contracts or specific projects, valid for up to six months.
  • Part-time Work Permit: Allows individuals already holding a full-time job in the UAE to take up additional part-time employment legally.
  • Kids from 15 to 18 years old can geĀ­t a special work permit. This allows them to haveĀ­ a job, but with rules to keep theĀ­m safe. They might work feweĀ­r hours or avoid risky tasks.
  • A freelance peĀ­rmit lets people work for theĀ­mselves. They can takeĀ­ jobs from many companies, often in special busineĀ­ss areas. This allows flexible, indeĀ­pendent work.

Costs and Validity

Understanding the costs and validity associated with work permits and visas is crucial for anyone planning to work in the UAE.

Cost of Work Permits and Visas

A two-year UAE work visa typically costs anywhere from AED 5,000 to 7,000. This will depend largely on which emirate you belong to and how that work visa application is specific yet applied for in practice. The cost covers fees for residence Visa, change of visa status and residence visa application process, government approved health center exams, health insurance, and Emirates ID card itself.

Additional visa fees:

Additional expenses that may be incurred are application processing fees, work visa delivery fees, and the cost of attestation of documents. This amount is subject to change and in some cases, there are exceptions, such as either by urgent process or other special request.

Validity and Renewal

Duration of validity for work visas and employment visas:

In the UAE, however, work permits and visas for employment are usually valid for 1, 2 or 3 year(s). Depending on the labor contract and company policies, you can, of course, stay longer as long as it is UAE legally acceptable to do so. After the initial period, these visas need to be renewed legally to keep on working and living in the UAE.

Renewal process:

Work visa permits in theĀ­ United Arab Emirates must be reĀ­newed beforeĀ­ expiring. Employers handle theĀ­ process by reapplying. They updateĀ­ papers like employment agreement and health insurance coveĀ­rage. Workers on entry visa also do medical teĀ­sts again. Following the steps ensureĀ­s staying legally employed in theĀ­ country.

Employment Visa Process

To follow the law, theĀ­ UAE takes care when giving visas for jobs. This proceĀ­ss helps keep track of foreign nationals.

Application Process

To apply for a Dubai employment visa in the UAE, the following steps are typically followed:

  1. Job Offer and Signed Labor Contract: Receive a formal job offer from a UAE-based employer, who then initiates the visa application process.
  2. Work Permit Approval: The employer applies for a work permit on behalf of the employee through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Approval must be granted before proceeding.
  3. Entry Permit: Once the UAE work permit is approved, the employee receives an entry permit, allowing them to legally enter the UAE.
  4. The neĀ­w worker gets health teĀ­sts like blood work and X-rays. They also give info likeĀ­ fingerprints. The medical screening tests makeĀ­ sure they can work safely.

How to Apply for a Labour Card

The labour card, also known as the Emirates ID card, is a mandatory identification card for anyone working in the UAE. Here’s how to apply:

  1. Employment Visa Approval: Make sure all papeĀ­rs for the employment visa are sorted out propeĀ­rly.
  2. Emirates ID Registration: Head to an authorized typing center and proceed with filling the application for the Emirates ID.
  3. Submission of the papers: Provide necessary papers, such as original passport and entry visa.
  4. Biometric Data: Undergo biometric scanning, including fingerprints and a photograph.
  5. Card Issuance: The card is typically issued within 5-10 working days and is collected by the employee.

Processing Time

The time required to process work permits and employment visas can vary:

  • Work Permit and Entry Permit: Approximately 5-10 working days, depending on the accuracy of the submitted documents and the workload of MOHRE.
  • Employment Visa and Labour Card: After entry into the UAE, completing the medical tests, biometrics, and final paperwork can take an additional 10-15 working days.

Entry Visa Quota Approval Regulations

Understanding UAE work visa regulations is important for both compliance and work. These laws maintain a competitive labor market. Green visa attracts skilled foreign workers from across the globe.

Minimum Monthly Salary Requirements

The Emirates’ income limit for job visas is determined by the occupation and signed employment contract type. The offer of employment must fulfill minimum income requirements in order not only to qualify you for a work and entry permit but also to allow you to live comfortably in the UAE.

Skilled workers should get a minimum wage of AED 4,000 to AED 5,000 without housing or AED 2,000 to AED 3,000 with employer-provided housing. These thresholds aim to recruit competent people and help them in their new surroundings.

New Rules and Regulations

UAE immigration laws and regulations are adjusted all the time according to changes in economic conditions or the labor market.

Dubai Visa rules were revised slightly from this year onward as a result. By the debut of this new program, the highly talented freelancers and investors are granted longer-term residency and broader family sponsorship options with the Green visa as well as the Golden visa and Pink visa.

The move will also allow those who come to Dubai on Green visa (but might wish to work) to convert their tourist visas and visit visa status into that of an employment one without having to leave the country.


It’s important for any professional to understand and comply with United Arab Emirates visa rules. The proper observation of these regulations ensures legal employment and residence within a territory, which in turn makes easier professional relationships as well as social adjustment.

At the same time, visitor visa can help avert future legal problems that might arise from non-compliance. This underlines how crucial it is to gain a good working knowledge of the legal framework for overseas residents in the UAE, and to make every effort to keep that information up-to-date.

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