Work Permit UAE

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a magnet for people worldwide who seek bright career prospects. However, foreign nationals who want to work in the country must have a UAE Work Permit. Under UAE labour laws, it is illegal for any person to work here without a valid work permit issued according to the procedures laid down by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE).

How to Get a Work Permit in the UAE?

The prospective employer in the UAE has to apply for a work permit on your behalf. The MoHRE is responsible for issuing work permits to work in the UAE.

The employment contract has to be signed by the prospective employee. It is later submitted by the employer to the Ministry for approval. After obtaining the approval and securing the visa, you get two months to enter the UAE. Once you enter the UAE, you have to obtain a residence visa and a formal work permit within 60 days.

What is a UAE Work Visa?

The UAE Work Visa is a legal permit for expatriates or foreign nationals to enter and work in the Emirates. There are different types of work visas based on the nature of the applicants. Both the prospective employer and the employee have to fulfil certain conditions with respect to employment in the UAE.

Types of Work Visas in the UAE

There are three types of UAE Work Visas. The details are given below:

Standard Work Visa

A standard work visa is sponsored by an employer in the UAE. This permits foreign nationals to live and work in the UAE for a period of two to three years. The visa has to be renewed (if required) after this period. A standard work visa is commonly used by companies in the UAE to hire overseas talent. The prospective employee must have a valid job offer and get an entry permit to arrive in the UAE on a standard work visa.

Green Visa

The UAE government introduced the UAE Green visa in October 2022. Unlike the standard work visa, it does not require any sponsorship from the employer. The Green visa grants residency for a period of 5 years. It can be renewed for the same term upon its expiry. Self-employed individuals, freelancers, and skilled employees who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a Green visa.

Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that allows foreign nationals to live, work, or study in the Emirates. It is valid for a period of 5 or 10 years, does not require any sponsor, and is renewable. Investors, entrepreneurs, and people with exceptional qualifications or talent, like doctors, scientists, artists, athletes, etc., can apply for this visa.
The Golden visa holders enjoy certain exclusive benefits like health insurance and the ability to sponsor unlimited family members & support staff. They can spend any time outside the UAE without affecting visa validity.

UAE Work Visa Requirements

The requirements to obtain a UAE employment visa are quite simple. The following documents are essential to obtain this visa:

A valid passport (original) and its photocopy

Passport-size photographs

Entry permit issued by the MoHRE

Emirates ID card

Copies of your academic qualifications authorized by the Foreign Ministry and the UAE Embassy in your country.

Medical certificate issued by a government-approved health centre in the UAE.

Documents from the hiring company, such as the commercial license and the company.

You can apply for a work permit after you obtain a residence visa. You must have a job offer or an employment contract with a company in the UAE. Freelancers and self-employed individuals need a permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) to obtain a Green visa.

Eligibility Criteria for the UAE Work Visa

Any individual who is over 18 years of age is permitted to work in the UAE. But, the person should meet the standards set by the Ministry (MoHRE). There is no upper age limit for employment in the UAE. But, employers typically pay an additional fee for employing individuals over 65 years of age.

Foreign nationals are divided into three categories based on their educational qualifications.

Category 1: Individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree in any stream.

Category 2: Individuals who have a post-secondary diploma in any field.

Category 3: Individuals who have a high school diploma.

UAE Employment Visa Procedure

Once you receive the Ministry’s approval and enter the UAE, the employer applies for a residence visa at the General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) of the Emirate where you shall be employed.

The application is processed and approved if everything is in order. The GDRFA shall then affix the employment visa (residence visa for employment purposes) to your passport. An Emirates ID, which is valid for the same duration as that of your visa, is issued. You also get a Labor Card that authorizes you to work in the UAE.

How to Apply for the UAE Work Visa?

The application process for the UAE work visa consists of three stages:

Step 1

Getting an employment entry visa.

Step 2

Getting an Emirates ID card.

Step 3

Obtaining a residence visa & work permit.

1) How to Get an Employment Entry Visa for the UAE?

To get an entry permit, the prospective employer must apply for a visa quota approval on behalf of the employee to the MoHRE. The employer submits the contract signed by the employee to the Ministry. The Ministry approves the work permit and issues an employment entry visa. The employee has to enter the UAE within two months. After entering the UAE, the employee gets 60 days of time to get a residence visa and an official work permit. You can apply for an additional extension of 60 days if you cannot travel to the UAE within the first 60 days.

2) How to Get an Emirates ID Card?

To apply for an Emirates ID, the employee must provide the entry visa along with the original passport and a photocopy. This application has to be made in person at the Emirates Identity Authority Center (EIDA) by providing biometrics such as fingerprints and a photograph. Foreign nationals must obtain Emirates ID as it is necessary for medical screening. It is directly linked to their residence visa and can be used as an identity document in place of their passport.

3) How to Obtain a Residence Visa and a Work Permit?

The employee has to submit all the documents listed above to apply for a residence visa. This visa has a validity of two years and can be renewed upon expiry. The work permit for the employee shall be listed as part of the residence visa. The employee is authorized to work after the work permit is approved.

Reasons for the UAE Work Visa Rejection

Your application for the UAE Employment Visa may get rejected for various reasons. Applicants are usually informed of these reasons by the Embassy. Some of the most common reasons for rejection are stated below:

Security Reasons

Applications with handwritten passport copies.

Applications with errors or misinformation pertaining to the applicant’s name, date of birth, passport number, or professional code.

The photograph submitted, along with the application, does not meet the prescribed specifications.

Two or more applicants with similar names and date of birth information are likely to face rejection.

Individuals who applied for a tourist visa earlier but did not enter the UAE may be rejected if their previous visa is not cancelled or extended.

Applicants have a criminal record in the UAE.

Medical Reasons

Expatriates should be free of all types of communicable diseases, such as HIV or TB, to work in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi screens foreign nationals for pulmonary TB by a chest X-ray.

Women applicants must test negative for pregnancy to obtain a UAE Work Visa.

Certain categories of workers such as nannies, housemaids, fitness & beauty professionals, and workers in cafes & restaurants must test negative for syphilis and Hepatitis-B.

Note: Foreign nationals must be certified as medically fit and free from diseases. All medical tests must be performed at health centres approved by the government in the UAE.

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Work Permit for the UAE

Foreign nationals who wish to stay and work in the UAE need a legitimate work permit or residency visa. They cannot enter the UAE on a tourist visa and take up employment. It is illegal to work in the UAE without holding a proper work visa.

Yes. But it is necessary to get your degree attested by the UAE Embassy or Consulate in your country. You must also get it certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.

The UAE Work Permit is initially valid for a period of 60 days. You have to obtain a work visa within this period. The UAE work visa has a validity of up to 3 years and can be renewed later. Please note that this visa is linked to your employment.

Yes. You can reapply if your earlier application for the UAE work visa was rejected by the authorities. It is advisable to find the reasons for rejection and correct the mistakes before you reapply.

Disclaimer: The nations, visa costs, and other information presented here are derived from a variety of sources. This is not a recommendation or promotion from Prominent Insurance Brokers. Before purchasing your tickets or requesting a visa, please confirm the same.