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Obtaining Work & Residence Visas In The UAE

Posted: 14th September 2022 10:30

New September 2022 regulations have been added to the expatriate recruitment process. 

Due to its comparatively convenient visa requirements compared to other neighboring Middle East nations, the United Arab Emirates, undoubtedly has become a popular destination for expats. As a result, UAE is increasingly becoming the global business hub with the presence of rich human resource readily available to cater for the needs of any global business enterprise.

Having stated that, just like in any other nation, specific guidelines must be followed while applying for work permits, residence visas in the UAE, to be employed lawfully in the UAE, expatriates must possess a valid work permit and work visa. In this article we explain how to get a work visa and obtain residence in the UAE.

To commence the process of obtaining your work visa in the UAE and work permit, you must first secure a job offer from an able and willing employer who wishes to have you engaged in his establishment. Upon successful completion of the process, the employee could secure a valid labour card from the ministry of labour and a residence visa for the duration of the employment contract. Also, it is worth noting that the UAE legislature has enacted many laws to maintain a healthy relationship between the employer and the employee which makes UAE one of the world’s safest places to work.

Procedure To Obtain A Work Permit In The UAE

Work Permits are issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) which is also commonly known as the ‘Ministry of Labour’. And it is the first step in the procedure of securing a work and residence visa in the UAE.

Before granting a resident visa, the business organization which made you a job offer needs to take steps to provide you with an entry permit which is usually valid for about two months, and would permit you to stay and remain in the UAE until such time you are been granted a resident visa having completed obtained the work permit for the agreed period. The ‘entry permit’ would simply allow the employee to enter the UAE and obtain a temporary Labour Card until the official labour contract is pledged with the ‘MoHRE’.

  1. Apply For A Job In The UAE
    In order to secure a job in the UAE, it is imperative to have a job offer from a UAE-registered company/establishment to get a work visa in the UAE.

  2. Application Process For Work Visa In The UAE
    Your employer has the responsibility of submitting the required documentation to the applicable government ministry(s) to commence the UAE work visa procedure, after the job offer made is accepted. Your Company (employer) has the responsibility of   paying for the expenses related to securing a visa for you having fulfilled the legal requirements. To commence the procedure to obtain a temporary entry permit in the UAE takes a total of two to three weeks. Usually, a two-months’ work visa that authorizes admission into the nation will then be sent to you by the MoHRE.

  3. Applying For A Work Visa In The UAE
    You may now start collecting and processing the documents for your UAE work visa with the aid of your Company and your two-month work permit in hand.

  4. Submit The Documents
    Once you have gathered the necessary information for your work visa in the UAE, your employer may assist you in sending the paperwork to the MOHRE. Upon successful submission of documents, your application for a UAE work visa will be evaluated, approved, and issued.

Who Is Eligible For A Work Visa In Dubai?

Provided the applicant satisfies the requirements decreed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, any foreign national above 18 years of age is permitted to work in the United Arab Emirates. They are three factors that are relevant to determining Dubai’s work visa requirements for foreign nationals. They are as follows:

  1. If you are still in your country and you have been recruited to a job in Dubai:
    The MoHRE and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation have established Centers outside the UAE.

  2. When you have a visit or tourist visa and are in Dubai and find an opportunity to work and remain in the UAE.

    1. In this instance, you may get your Dubai work visa by leaving the United Arab Emirates. You’re not required to take a flight back home. You may use the “visa run” service provided by airlines to make a stopover in a neighboring nation (like Oman) while waiting to get a work permit in Dubai. or

    2. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDFRA) in Dubai’s “Change Status” procedure is another option available to the hiring employer. A work visa in the UAE may be obtained in this situation without having to leave the country.

If You Already Have A Job In Dubai And Wish To Change Employment

You also get a new work permit in the UAE to join a new firm in the third situation. According to Article 1 of Ministerial Decree No. 766 of 2015, a worker whose contract was terminated due to contract expiration is qualified for a new work permit in the UAE assuming they can find a new job opportunity.

However, it is worthy of noting that, the UAE has introduced several new visa schemes effecting from 1st September 2022, among which the option of ‘Job seeker Visa’ is about to be made available for qualified job seekers to enter and remain in the UAE for a maximum period of six months (6) with a hope of securing a job opportunity in the UAE. With the introduction of this new scheme, job seekers are likely to be restricted from searching for job opportunities by entering the UAE with a tourist/visit visa.

Documents Required For Work Visa In The UAE

You need several supporting papers when applying for a work visa in the UAE, including:

  1. A copy of your passport and your original passport

  2. A passport-size photo (s) that complies with UAE standards

  3. Copies of your academic credentials. Your credentials must be approved/attested by the UAE Embassy or Consulate in your country and the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  4. A medical certificate from a UAE health facility that has received government approval.

  5. Documents of the Company that hired you, such as the firm’s business card or commercial license.

How Long Is The Validity Of A Work Permit In The UAE?

An entry permit issued in the UAE may be renewed for an additional 30 days after it expires the first time it is issued. It allows you to stay in the nation for 60 days while you and your employer plan to get a residence visa in the UAE, an Emirates ID, and your labour card.

You may lawfully live and work with a labour card and residence visa in the UAE. Depending on your travel intention and the UAE authorities’ judgment, residence visa in the UAE may be obtained for one or more years (s).

Seek Assistance From A Visa Specialist

Given the time and intricacy of each stage, it is understandable that businesses recruiting staff to the UAE often seek help. Finding specialists and resources in the UAE that are knowledgeable about local legislation and have an established presence there can be difficult. At the very least, you need guidance on submitting the necessary paperwork to get a work permit or residence permit in the UAE.  Dezan Shira & Associates work with Visa specialists such as Farahat & Co, who will take care of your visa, work permit in the UAE, and residence permit applications. Only local government and professional fees are charged. For assistance please contact: dubai@dezshira.com


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