Last Updated: March 08, 2021

UAE Work visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the business nerve center of the world. This is mostly due to the fact that ex-pats working in the UAE do not have to pay taxes on their income. This, combined with the fact that ex-pats are now are allowed to purchase property in the country means that it is now an extremely lucrative destination for those who are looking for employment opportunities abroad. Hence, a lot of people from across the world move to places like Dubai to fulfill their career dreams. To get employed in the UAE, an individual will absolutely first need these three documents-
  1. a residency visa
  2. a health card and
  3. a labor card

What is the application procedure for a UAE visa?

When looking for a work visa so that an individual may work in the United Arab Emirates, they must first find a suitable job. This requires the individual in question to prove their qualification for the job applied to. Therefore, it is imperative that the applicant carries the transcripts of the abovementioned qualifications along with them. It is recommended that the applicant ask their previous employer for a letter confirming their experience, qualifications, or any training that they have received. This would serve their purpose in case they fail to produce documents supporting your qualifications.

The following documents are necessary to get a UAE visa: The candidate needs a valid national passport. This ensures that the applicant is admitted into the country. This passport is issued by their country of citizenship should have at least one blank page in it. It must not have a visa stamp from Israel. The document should be valid for at least up to 6 months from the date the applicant intends to enter the UAE.

The issuing of work visas is the domain of the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The first steps to getting a work visa is procuring a work permit for an expatriate from MOHRE. This will allow the worker to enter the UAE and is valid for a period of up to two months from the date of issue of the permit. Once the individual has entered the country with the help of the above-mentioned permit, the company they are being employed by will arrange the following formalities required for the visa: Medical testing, obtaining a UAE Resident Identity Card or an Emirates ID card, a Labor Card and stamping the work residency permit on their passport within 60 days. The stamp indicates that the employing company has sponsored the individual to work for them by getting them a work visa.

What about visa for the dependents?

If there are dependents with the applicant for the work visa, it's mandatory for them to have their valid national passports. If the applicant is married and willing to take their spouse along, they must also get her/him a temporary residency visa. For that, it is required to produce a marriage certificate for verification of the legality of the matrimony of the two individuals in question. And in the case of a woman who is willing to take her kids along, she may need to produce a notarized letter or a document stating the father's approval for the same. The resident sponsor, who already has a residence permit and a visa, has up to 60 days to apply for his/her dependents’ residence visa after their entry to the UAE. These dependents may be issued visas for one, two, or three years depending on the nature of the work contract of the sponsoring member and their capacity as an employee in the company or firm they work at.

(Note: To be granted a residence visa for dependents and family members (above 18 years of age), all the dependents need to undertake and pass medical fitness tests at government-approved health centers in the country. These tests are usually undertaken to test for HIV, through a blood test, and tuberculosis, through an x-ray of the chest. Those who fail these tests will be denied their visas and considered medically unfit)

Documents required for visa for dependents (specifically wife and children):

UAE Visa Validity

One has the option to secure their stay in the UAE for two years. However, they will need sponsorship on account of a business owned in the UAE or a contract with an employer there, to obtain a residency visa.

On receipt of one’s residency/employment visa, which is initially valid for 30 days, the applicant needs to get their health check-up done. If they found to be HIV positive or found to have tuberculosis, they may not be allowed to work in the UAE. After undergoing a successful health exam, the passport will be marked with a residency visa stamp. It is after the completion of these steps that the applicant’s employer applies for the labor card by paying a fee of Dhs 1,000 (approximately $272). Since getting a work visa is primarily the responsibility of the employer, individuals must make sure their employers have applied for their work visas properly. It is recommended that the applicant help them in preparing the paperwork and be involved in the process whenever possible.

Top Jobs to Look For in UAE

Although one has the opportunity for any job they desire, given the immense variety of job opportunities in the UAE, an individual in search of rapid career growth and economic mobility must focus on the ones that are the most in-demand, with no local talent available to compete for them. Most of these employment openings are found online.

Areas like engineering, construction, and architecture are recruiting thousands of immigrant employees every year. To be, however, on a safer side, one must also filter their options for jobs that promise to sponsor your work visa. English teaching jobs are very popular in the UAE. Interestingly, most of these jobs also sponsor a work visa. If one is lucky enough, these jobs might provide them with accommodation facilities throughout the entire period of the contract. Some might also provide free airfare. English teaching opportunities are promoted in the UAE because of their increasing interest in westernizing their society. These work permits are renewable. Therefore, one may easily apply for their renewal once their validity has expired.


Work Visa